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Invited Speakers of the SoMaS Summer School 2011

Moderators of the Master Classes

Philip A. Pincus

pincus photo.jpgProfessor Pincus received his PhD in Physics at UC Berkeley in 1962 with C. Kittel on spin wave theory; he then did a post-doc at Saclay working in Abragam's group with de Gennes on problems in magnetism. He spent approximately 20 years in the Physics Department at University of California, Los Angeles. He then joined the Exxon Research and Engineering Laboratory in Annandale, NJ for 3 years before coming to University of California, Santa Barbara in 1985 as Professor of Chemical Engineering. His research interests have evolved from magnetism to superconductivity to liquid crystals to strongly correlated electrons in organic conductors to polymer physics. Over the last few years group has it's focus on theoretical physics of soft condensed matter (multicomponent fluids, including polymer solutions, protein-membrane interactions, colloidal dispersions, microemulsions, vesicles, and other surfacant phases). Current interests are problems which are inspired by biomolecular questions. The scientific work of Prof. Pincus was awarded by several honors including Joliot Curie Professor (ESPCI, 1981), John Simon Guggenheim Fellow (Orsay, 1975), Raymond & Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lecturer in Physics (Tel Aviv, 1988), High Polymer Physics Prize of the APS (Ford Prize, 1992), Chaire-Paris Sciences (ESPCI, 1999).

Thomas A. Witten

witten.jpgProfessor Thomas Adam Witten received his PhD in physics in 1971 from the University of California, La Jolla in many-body theoretical physics under Shang-keng Ma. He did a postdoc in condensed matter theory at Princeton University and other renormalized field theory at Saclay, France. Then he joined the physics faculty at University of Michigan. He left Michigan in 1982 to join the Corporate Research lab of the Exxon Corporation. In 1989 he joined the faculty of the Physics Department and the James Franck research institute of the University of Chicago. He studies statistically structured forms of matter, such as diblock copolymer domain patterns, colloidal aggregates, and crumpled membranes. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society (1988) and gave the 1999 Paris-Sciences lectures at the École Superieure de Physique et Chemie Industrielles in Paris. His scientific work was awarded by other prizes Polymer Physics Prize, American Physical Society (2002), Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2002).


  • S. Obukhov, Gainesville, USA
  • R. Mülhaupt, Freiburg, Germany
  • J. Rühe, Freiburg, Germany
  • S. Schiller, Freiburg, Germany


Seminar Speakers

  • K. Anselme, Mulhouse, France
  • J. Baschnagel, Strasbourg, France
  • O. Félix , Strasbourg, France
  • J.-F. Lutz, Strasbourg, France
  • C. Marques, Strasbourg, France
  • M. Delcea, Basel, Switzerland
  • G. Reiter, Freiburg, Germany
  • V. Le Houérou, Strasbourg, France
  • W. Weber, Freiburg, Germany 



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