Wendy Wei Zhang

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New (soft matter theory postdoc position)

above posted November 2011


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I am a theoretical physicist working in fluid dynamics, nonlinear dynamics, soft condensed matter & biologically inspired physics.  I work in the Physics Department & the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago.  I am also a member of the Materials Research Science & Engineering Center at U. Chicago.

I help organize the Computations in Science Seminar (Wednesdays KPTC206 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.).  The seminar covers scientific phenomena which “have been computed or can be computed”.  Half of our talks are about experimental work,  a small fraction are about history of science and the interaction between science and society.  Our goal is to entice folks from different disciplines to meet regularly and have fun thinking about something outside their area of expertise.

I check my email twice a day for about 30 minutes.  This means if I don’t manage to get to your email on the day it arrives,  it goes into some random location in an (alas) alarmingly-high stack.  Sorry.  For what it is worth, I do get to emails eventually. 

Group meetings:  Once a month we hold a public group meeting where one of us gives a talk for about 30, 35 minutes, with a proper introduction to the problem under study as well as some context and motivation.  It is a fun way for us to get feedback from everyone, and for everyone to find out what we are up to.  Please join us.  (The meeting times are the 2nd Thursday of every month, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in GCISE123.)

If you are an undergraduate interested in doing research in our group or in this general area, the best way to participate is to apply to the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program hosted by the Physics Department and the Materials Reserach Engineering & Science Center at the University of Chicago.  This program takes place every summer.

If you are an undergraduate at the University of Chicago and would like to explore the possibility of doing a senior thesis within our group, please contact me early.  The thesis project is more likely to have that extra little spark, provide more opportunities for independent endeavor, and less “cook-book” if we have a few months before the Autumn quarter of your senior year to think up and try out different options.  Note I said more likely.  As with all worthwhile things in life, there is no guarantee.

There are research opportunities for beginning graduate students in our group.  If you are interested, see paragraph above.  The difference is that the time-scale is longer, the uncertainty greater, and, as a bonus, you get to do some, maybe all, of work in formulating the problem. 

If you are interested in doing a postdoc within our group, there is no position open right now.  We also participate in the James Franck Institute’s Condensed Matter Theory postdoc search, which aims to hire postdoctoral fellows whose work is broadly interesting to the different theory groups in the JFI.  Last year’s search has closed.  Please keep your eyes on the web page for next year.  The deadline for the application is usually December 1.

last updated September 2009