Sunday, March 18, 2018

(Please visit this page periodically for more details to the schedule)

Get settled in your accommodation at the Hotel Newton, 2528 Broadway at 95th Street,

(212) 678-6500. Guests may begin checking in at 1:00 PM.

4:45 PM 


Open House attendees arrive at Columbia and pick up information packets at the Physics Department, 704 Pupin (7th floor).

5:00 PM

Graduate Student Talk, 8th Floor Theory Center in Pupin Hall

Speaker: Steven Harrellson

Title: "Hard headed: your surprisingly stiff brain"


Biologists have long believed that the brain is a primarily soft structure, given how easy it is to put your fingers through one.  However, we have until recently lacked the technology to probe the mechanical features of a living brain cell.  Using Atomic Force Microscopy we are able to delicately probe the living cell to better understand its structure.  I will talk about the results of this research as well as a simplistic model we use to reinforce our results. 

*Refreshments and snacks will be served*

5:45 PM

Meet for Dinner

All Open House attendees are invited to attend a group dinner with current grad students - a chance to talk candidly about graduate student life at Columbia and in the Physics Department.

Meet on the 8th Floor in the Theory Center at the conclusion of the graduate student talk at 5:45 PM. Also recall that on Sunday you can only get to Pupin by entering at the main campus entrance on 116th Street (and Broadway or Amsterdam Ave).

Your hosts will be current graduate students (Laura Havener, Aden Lam, Daniel Williams, Felix Clark, Giuliano Chiriaco, Konrad Wenz, Roman Berens, and Stefan Countryman)

Restaurant: Amity Hall NYC located at 982 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025 (Between 108th and 109th Streets and Amsterdam Avenue)

MONDAY, March 19, 2018

(Tentative Schedule)

8:45 AM - 9:15 AM


Buffet continental breakfast in room 705 Pupin Hall. There will be coffee, tea, bagels, etc., served.

9:15 AM - 11:45 AM

Presentations About the Graduate Program in Physics

9:15   Welcome from Professor Robert Mawhinney, Chair of the Columbia Physics Department

9:20 - 10:00 Research - Review of Doctoral Program: Professor Alberto Nicolis, Director of Graduate Studies

10:00 - 10:15  Coffee Break/ Reimbursement Matters

During this time students anticipating reimbursement must visit the Business Office in 704 Pupin and provide Sonnia Andrade with W9 form for US citizens and W8 form along with corresponding documents for international visitors.


10:15 - 12:15 PM - Presentations on research being done in the department.

  • Room Location # 1 (705 Pupin Hall)
    • 10:15 AM - Professor Sebastian Will, Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
    • 11:15 AM - Professor Cory Dean, Condensed Matter Physics
  • Room Location # 2 (809 Pupin Hall)
    • 10:15 AM - Professor Andrei Beloborodov, Astrophysics
    • 11:15 AM - Professor Robert Mawhinney, Particle Physics

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM


Buffet lunch in 705 Pupin with current graduate students and faculty.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Visit Grad Student Housing - Tour # 1 (Optional)

Current grad student, Doğa Veske, will hold open house Monday afternoon from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM. Feel free to pay a visit on your own during these hours. All interested individuals should meet outside 704 Pupin at 12:50 PM where the host will take the group to their apartment.

1:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Faculty Office Hours

We will arrange for office hours to meet with faculty as per your indicated interests.  The office hours will be available in your packet.

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Visit Grad Student Housing - Tour # 2 (Optional)

Current grad student, Stefan Countryman, will hold open house Monday afternoon from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Feel free to pay a visit on your own during these hours. All interested individuals should meet outside 704 Pupin at 1:50 PM where the host will take the group to their apartment.

1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Tours of Pupin Labs (Optional)

Visits to the AMO lab (Will and Zelevinsky), condensed matter research labs (Bassov, Dean and Pasupathy) from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Experimental astrophysics labs (Hailey, Marka and Aprile).

Chuck Hailey lab tour will be from 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Elena Aprile lab tour will be from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Szabi Marka lab tour will be from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

2:10 PM - 3:10 PM

Theory Seminar 2:10 PM  in Theory Center (8th Floor Pupin)

Speaker:  Tien-Tien Yu, CERN

Title: "Dispatches from the sub-GeV Dark Matter Frontier"


The sub-GeV dark matter mass range has received increased interest in the last several years, owing to the lack of any unambiguous signal of the canonical WIMP in the GeV-TeV mass range. The sub-GeV mass range is relatively unexplored due to the difficulty of detecting such light dark matter with traditional techniques. However, there have been recent experimental developments that finally make sub-GeV direct detection viable. I will discuss some of the theoretical principles and strategies to explore sub-GeV dark matter candidates, as well as some current and proposed experimental techniques. I will focus predominantly on semiconductor targets, such as the new SENSEI experiment which utilizes silicon CCDs, and demonstrate the potential for exploring the eV-GeV dark matter mass range in the near future. 

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Visit Grad Student Housing - Tour # 3 (Optional)

Current grad student, Claire Warner, will hold open house Monday afternoon from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Feel free to pay a visit on your own during these hours. All interested individuals should meet outside 704 Pupin at 2:50 PM where the host will take the group to their apartment.

3:30 PM - 4:10 PM

Coffee Hour on 7th Floor Pupin - Graduate Student Lounge Room (Optional)

4:15 PM - 5:20 PM

Physics Department Colloquium 4:15 PM in 428 Pupin

Speaker: Nicholas Stone, Columbia University

Title: "Life after Death: Transient Emission from Compact Objects in Galactic Nuclei"


In most regions of the Universe, stellar orbits have enormous mean free paths, and the timescale for a strong two-body encounter exceeds a Hubble time.  However, in dense stellar systems, such as open, globular, and nuclear star clusters, close encounters between stars and/or compact objects are frequent, and may lead to the production of transient electromagnetic or gravitational-wave radiation.  I will present my research showing how the densest stellar systems in the Universe — galactic nuclei — are dynamical factories that manufacture transient sources such as X-ray binaries, tidal disruption events, and LIGO-band black hole mergers.  I will discuss my past and ongoing work to understand the transient electromagnetic and gravitational radiation from these dynamically assembled systems, focusing especially on ways in which time domain astronomy can probe general relativity.

6:00 PM

Farewell Reception with current graduate students and faculty

This is an opportunity to chat with faculty and students in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. Meet across from 704 Pupin by the graduate student lounge room on the 7th floor at 5:45 PM to meet with group. Graduate students, Kathryn Sutton, Doğa Veske, Apoorv Jindal, Kiley Kennedy, Ben Gilbert, Claire Warner, Daniel Williams, Giuliano Chiriaco, Guanhao Sun, and Aden Lam, will escort the group to the reception.

Restaurant: Le Monde located at 2885 Broadway, New York, NY 10025 (Between 112th and 113th Streets)