Brandeis professor wins early career award from American Physical Society

December 7, 2018

Brandeis Professor Aparna Baskaran (PHYS) received the 2019 Early Career Award for Soft Matter Research from the American Physical Society (APS), a nonprofit organization that works to advance knowledge on physics, according to the APS website.

The award recognizes “outstanding and sustained contributions by a young researcher to the field of Soft Matter during his or her initial period of full-time employment.” The award, which is sponsored by the Belgian chemical company Solvay, includes a $5,000 prize and the cost of travel to the APS March meeting, according to the APS award website.

Baskaran received the award “for pathbreaking advances in our understanding of the physics of soft materials out of equilibrium, especially active and granular matter,” according to the APS award website. She is a member of the APS and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, according to her CV.

The APS award webpage describes Baskaran as “a beloved teacher and passionate exponent of her science.”

Baskaran’s research at Brandeis includes the understanding of out-of-equilibrium properties of soft materials. She also studies the physics of biological systems, according to her Brandeis University webpage. Baskaran uses computer simulators to model and understand individual systems, where she can then create theories that apply to groups of nonequilibrium systems, according to the APS award website.

Baskaran is an associate professor of physics at the Martin A. Fisher School of Physics. She got her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 2006 and her Masters of Science in Physics at the Raman School of Physics Pondicherry University. She has received 13 different fellowships and awards, according to her CV.

Baskaran has published over 30 scientific articles from topics ranging from soft matter to self-propelled particles. She has also spoken at a variety of seminars in and outside of the United States on her research and topics related to the study of physics. News India Times first reported that APS was awarding the prize to Baskaran.

Her Brandeis web page describes her as “a theorist interested in understanding the dynamics of soft materials far from equilibrium. She is presently focused on understanding active materials such as self-propelled colloids and in vitro cytoskeletal filament systems, field and shear driven colloids and granular materials.”

The award is open to any researchers contributing to soft matter research. Baskaran was selected as the winner from a committee of seven.

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