Alumni are individuals who were trained as PhD students or postdocs of the collaboration, and then started their independent scientific activity with permanent positions in the academia or in research labs of private companies.
Working with Francesco Zamponi, November 2016 – 2018
From 2018, independent postdoc at EPFL, Lausanne
Elisabeth Agoritsas has been a postdoctoral fellow at the LPT in the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris, working with Francesco Zamponi. She obtained her PhD in 2013 at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, under the supervision of Thierry Giamarchi. Then she moved to the LIPhy at the University Grenoble Alpes in France, for a three-year postdoc in the team of Jean-Louis Barrat. Half of this first postdoc was funded by an Early.Postdoc fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation (Nov. 2014 – April 2016). Since November 2016 she has started a new postdoc with Francesco Zamponi, directly funded by the Simons collaboration.
Her research interests are gathered in the statistical physics of disordered systems, mostly classical and using analytical approaches. During her PhD she studied the theoretical framework of disordered elastic systems and the modelling of one-dimensional interfaces, a problem which is related to the broad Kardar-Parisi-Zhang universality class. Since her postdoc in Grenoble she is in addition studying plasticity in structurally disordered systems, such as yield stress fluids or amorphous solids, using mesoscopic elasto-plastic models which can be used to describe, at coarse-grained scale, their non-linear response and underlying dynamics under shear.
Postdoc (funding: ERC Grant GlassUniversality and Simons grant) working with Francesco Zamponi (November 2017-October 2018) and Giulio Biroli (November 2018-October 2020)
Since December 2020: permanent position at Université de Paris (Maître de Conférences)
Ada Altieri obtained her PhD in Theoretical Physics in February 2018 from both the University of Rome “Sapienza” and the University Paris-Sud XI (cotutelle de thèse) co-advised by Giorgio Parisi and Silvio Franz. During her Ph.D she focused, on the one hand, on renormalization group techniques in disordered systems and, on the other hand, on the connections between continuous constraint satisfaction problems and the jamming transition in high dimension.
In November 2017 she moved to the Laboratoire de Physique Théorique of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, where she started a one-year postdoc with Francesco Zamponi working on the rheology of amorphous solids under shear deformations. Then, one year later she joined the team of Giulio Biroli working both on Dynamical Mean-Field Theory Formalisms in out-of-equilibrium disordered systems and on the investigation of collective, critical behaviours in large ecosystems.
In 2020 she was awarded the L’Oréal-UNESCO Fellowship for Women in Science for her research on the “Ecosystems’ complexity through the prism of statistical physics”. Since December 2020 she is an Associate Professor at MSC (University Paris VII)
Postdoc (2016-2019) with Giulio Biroli & David Reichman,
From November 2019: Group Leader at ETH Eawag
Marco Baity-Jesi is a group leader at ETH Eawag, in Zurich. He obtained his PhD in 2015, in a cotutorship between Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Sapienza, University of Rome, with Víctor
Martín-Mayor and Giorgio Parisi. During his postdoc, he spent 2 years in Paris at CEA Saclay, and 2 years in New York at Columbia University. Currently, his main research interests are machine learning applied to water systems, and activated dynamics in high-dimensional landscapes.
Yevgeny Bar Lev
Postdoc (2016, working with Giulio Biroli, Jorge Kurchan and David R. Reichman)
From 2018, professor of Physics at the Ben Gurion University
Yevgeny Bar Lev received his PhD in theoretical physics from Technion in 2010. After a postdoctoral appointment at Technion, he moved to Columbia University as a Fullbright postdoctoral fellow in 2012. Since the fall of 2018, he is professor of Physics at the Ben Gurion University.
His interests span disordered and interacting systems as also nonequilibrium dynamics.
Postdoc (funding: Simons grant, 2017-2018, working with Giorgio Parisi)
From 2018, independent postdoctoral fellow at LNF-INFN
Fernanda Benetti is a postdoctoral fellow at the Frascati National Laboratory of the National Insitute of Nuclear Physics of Italy (LNF-INFN), working with physics applied to cultural heritage studies. She obtained her PhD in 2016 at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Porto Alegre, Brazil, under the supervision of Yan Levin. Her doctoral research focused on non-equilibrium stationary states and relaxation processes of systems with long-range interactions. She was part of the Simons Collaboration as a postdoctoral fellow at Sapienza University of Rome, with Giorgio Parisi, where she studied the vibrational spectra of disordered systems.
Postdoc (funding: Simons Grant, 2017-2019)
Working with Matthieu Wyart, 2017-2019
Postdoc at ENS Paris, équipe ‘Statistical Physics and inference for biology’ (2019-2021)
From October 2021, Lecturer in Biomathematics at Imperial College London
Barbara obtained her PhD in 2016 at King’s College London under the supervision of Peter Sollich,
developing path integral approaches to mean field dynamical descriptions and inference for stochastic, out-of-equilibrium processes, with a particular emphasis on theoretical modelling of these phenomena in biological networks. Her research project was part of “NETADIS – Statistical Physics Approaches to NETworks Across DISciplines”, a Marie Curie Training Network funded by the European Commission. As a postdoctoral researcher she worked on inverse problem approaches inspired by statistical physics to model biological
phenomena such as allostery in proteins (at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, with Matthieu Wyart)
and the immune system (at École Normale Supérieure de Paris, with Simona Cocco, Rémi Monasson, Thierry
Mora and Aleksandra Walczak). Currently she continues her research at the interface between statistical
physics and biology as a lecturer in Biomathematics at Imperial College London.
Postdoc (funding: Simons grant, 2016 – 2017)
Working with Matthieu Wyart 2013-2017
Junior Research Associate, Institut Philippe Meyer, ENS, Paris, 2017-2019
From September 2019, Assistant Professor at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
Eric graduated from University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, in 2013, with a PhD thesis on continuum equations for amorphous solids without elasticity. From 2013-2017 he worked on elasticity and rheology of amorphous materials with Matthieu Wyart, both at NYU and EPFL. He is interested in the statistical physics of disordered systems, from granular materials to structural glasses to neural networks.
Postdoc (2016-2017, working with Ludovic Berthier, Patrick Charbonneau, and Francesco Zamponi)
Currently, Research Scientist at Colorado State University
Elijah is a research scientist working at Colorado State University. He obtained his PhD in physics in 2003 from Colorado State University. He did a postdoc examining the mode-coupling theory of the glass transition and studying dynamic heterogeneity using computer simulations with Grzegorz Szamel at Colorado State University from 2003 to 2006. After working on modeling cell motion with Ian Koztin at University of Missouri Columbia from 2006 to 2007, he moved back to Colorado State University and now works as a research scientist in the chemistry department. His research is in understanding why vapor deposition can create glasses with exceptional characteristics.
Postdoc (funding: Simons Grant, 2017-2018)
Working with Jorge Kurchan, 2017-2018
From 2018, permanent researcher at CNRS, Paris
Laura Foini is is a permanent CNRS researcher at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of CEA Saclay. She has obtained her PhD from SISSA (Trieste) in collaboration with the ENS in Paris. She did her postdocs between Paris and Geneva and she has took part to the Simons collaboration working with Jorge Kurchan.
She is interested in the physics of classical and quantum disordered systems and on the dynamical properties of many-body systems.
Postdoc (funding: Simons Grant, 2017-2019), working with Giorgio Parisi and Luca Leuzzi
From 2022, Associate Professor at Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) in L’Aquila.
Giacomo Gradenigo obtained his Ph.D. in 2009 under the supervision of Paolo Verrocchio and Andrea Cavagna, working on the characterization of the Random First-Order Transition scenario for the glass transition in supercooled liquids. From 2017 to 2019 he has been a Simons postdoctoral fellow at the University of Rome Sapienza, working in collaboration with Giorgio Parisi and Luca Leuzzi. His interests spans from the statistical mechanics of disordered systems to quantum field theory and the foundations of statistical mechanics (both quantum and classical). At present Giacomo is based in GSSI and collaborates mostly with colleagues in Rome, Florence and Padova.
Working with Eric Corwin, 2017-2020
From 2020, Image Sensor Characterization Engineer at Crystal Equation Corporation
Andrew Hammond was a PhD student at the University of Oregon under the supervision of Eric Corwin. Andrew used high speed microscopy to study the crossover from ballistic to caged behavior in colloidal glasses as a way to probe the existence of a thermal Gardner transition in real systems. Since 2020 he has been working in industry as an image sensor engineer.
Postdoc (funding: Simons grant, October 2017 – September 2019), working with Silvio Franz
From October 2019, Research Associate at the investment management firm CFM, Paris
Sungmin Hwang obtained his PhD in Seoul National University under the supervision of Byungnam Kahng, in which his research interests were mainly diffusive dynamics on disordered systems and complex networks. Later in 2014, he joined the group of Joachim Krug in Cologne university as a postdoctoral researcher. He then applied various statistical mechanics techniques to the problems in the field of population genetics, in particular in the study of theoretical and experimental fitness landscapes. He then became a postdoctoral researcher based at the LPTMS and Ecole Normale Supérieure, interested in both the structural properties and the dynamical aspects of glassy systems. Since October 2019, he is a Research Associate at the investment management firm CFM, Paris (www.cfm.fr)
Postdoc (April 2017 – March 2020, working with Giulio Biroli and Francesco Zamponi)
JSPS postdoctoral fellow at the University of Tokyo (April 2020 – March 2021)
From April 2021, Assistant Professor at Gakushuin University, Tokyo, Japan
Harukuni Ikeda obtained his Ph.D. in 2017 from Nagoya University under the supervision of Kunimasa Miyazaki. Afterward, he did a postdoc at the ENS Paris in collaboration with Giulio Biroli and Francesco Zamponi. His current research activities include both theoretical and numerical studies of jamming of non-spherical particles.
Postdoc (funding: Simons Grant, 2017-2019)
From December 2019, Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad
Joyjit Kundu has been a postdoctoral associate at Duke University, working with Patrick Charbonneau. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, India, in 2015, for work focusing on equilibrium phase behaviour of anisotropic particles on lattices. He then pursued postdoctoral research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, studying gas capture and dynamics in porous materials as well nanoscale self-assembly of peptoids. Currently, he studies the statistical physics of disordered systems, taking a closer look at dynamical criticality in high dimensions, using fluids of polydisperse hard spheres. Since December 2019, he is an Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad.
François P. Landes
Postdoc (funding: Simons Grant, 2016 – 2018)
Working with Andrea Liu, David Reichman, Giulio Biroli and Olivier Dauchot, Sept 2016 – 2018
From 2018, permanent position (Maître des Conférences), Paris
François Landes is now assistant professor (Maître de conférence) in computer Sciences, at LRI, Paris Sud. He obtained his PhD in 2014 from Orsay Paris-Sud University under the supervision of Alberto Rosso. He studied avalanches in disordered systems driven out of equilibrium, with applications to friction and seismology. He then went to the ICTP to work on various other problems, including Markov State Models for nonequilibrium problems (with Alessandro Laio and Erio Tosatti) and electron glasses (with Markus Müller). His current research focuses on the study of avalanches of rearrangments in Molecular Dynamics simulations of model glasses via Machine Learning methods.
Postdoc (2015-2019: Univ. Montpellier, 2019-2022: ENS Paris)
From 2022, CNRS permanent researcher at Univ. Grenoble Alpes.
Misaki OZAWA was a postdoc at the University of Montpellier in France (2016-2019), working with Ludovic Berthier.
He studied entropy of glassy materials.
Misaki Ozawa obtained his Ph.D. in 2015 from the University of Tsukuba under the supervision of Kunimasa Miyazaki. He did a postdoc at Univ. Montpellier, working with Ludovic Berthier and Walter Kob. He then moved to ENS Paris as a postdoc, working with Giulio Biroli and Francesco Zamponi. Currently, he is a CNRS researcher at University of Grenoble Alpes. He has enthusiasm for understanding glasses and the glass transition. He is also working on an interdisciplinary study between statistical physics and machine learning.
Postdoc 2020-23 with Jorge Kurchan (Fundings: 2020-22 Simons Grant, 2022-23 Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship)
From April 2023: Junior Professor in the University of Cologne
Silvia Pappalardi is a group leader at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of Cologne. She obtained her PhD in September 2020 at SISSA (Trieste). Her graduate work was focused on quantum chaos and entanglement dynamics, with particular emphasis on long-range interacting quantum systems and semi-classical limits. During her Simons postdoc with Jorge Kurchan, she has worked on the quantum bound to the Lyapunov exponent using statistical mechanics approaches and on the Eigenstate Thermalization Hypothesis, in collaboration with Laura Foini (IPHT) and Simons Alumna. She continued to work on these topics with a Marie Sklodowska Curie postdoctoral fellowship, started in October 2022 at ENS Paris. In April 2023, she joined the University of Cologne as a Junior Professor. Currently, her main research interests are quantum information approaches to many-body dynamics and quantum chaos.
Postdoc (funding: Simons grant, September 2017 – September 2019), working with Silvio Franz
From October 2019, Research Associate at the investment management firm CFM, Paris
Jacopo Rocchi obtained his PhD in 2014 at the University of Rome-Sapienza under the supervision of Giorgio Parisi, studying renormalization group techniques in the random field Ising model. Then he moved to Birmingham for a 28 months post doc with David Saad at the Aston University, where he worked on the relations between the static and the dynamic properties of spin glasses. Since September 2017, he joined the team of Silvio Franz, where he worked on inference problems and on the dynamics of spin glass models, and collaborating with other members of the collaborations. He is also interested in applications of statistical mechanics in other domains such as statistical learning, data science, finance and macroeconomics. Since October 2019, he is a Research Associate at the investment management firm CFM, Paris (www.cfm.fr)
Postdoc (funding: Simons Grant, 2018-2019) working with Giulio Biroli
From 2020, permanent researcher at CNRS, Paris
Valentina Ros obtained her Ph.D in Statistical Physics in 2016, at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste. She has worked with Giulio Biroli as a postdoctoral researcher first in the Institute of Theoretical Physics of CEA in Saclay (2016-2018, funding: ERC NPRGGLASS) and then in the Laboratoire de Physique of Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris (2018-2019, funding: Simons Grant). She has spent one more year at Ecole Normale Supérieure as an independent postdoc (2019-2020, Junior Research Chair). She is interested in quantum and classical disordered systems, ergodicity breaking and out-of-equilibrium dynamics. Her research activity focuses on localization phenomena in quantum disordered systems, as well as on the characterization of the statistical properties of rugged energy landscapes in high-dimension.
Miguel Ruiz Garcia
Postdoc with Andrea Liu, until 2020
From 2020, Assistant Professor, Technical University of Madrid
Miguel Ruiz García is a Tenure Track Assistant Professor at the Technical University of Madrid. Previously he was a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania working with Andrea Liu (Simons PI) and Eleni Katifori. He is interested in understanding how to control the structure of energy landscapes and its effect when tuning flow networks or doing machine learning. He is also interested in the dynamics of excitable flow networks, trying to understand the emergence of spontaneous fluctuations on the brain vasculature. Finally, Miguel has also studied the effect of thermal fluctuations on the mechanical properties of 2D materials.
Miguel was born in Macharaviaya, Spain. He studied Physics at Universidad de Sevilla (US) and did his PhD at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), coadvised by Luis L. Bonilla (UC3M) and Antonio Prados (US).
Postdoc with Giulio Biroli, 2017-2019
From 2019, research scientist at Facebook AI, Paris
Levent Sagun is a research scientist at Facebook AI in Paris. He has been a postdoctoral fellow at CEA Saclay and ENS Paris working with Giulio Biroli. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2017 at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU. His Ph.D. work has been carried out at NYU and Facebook AI, where he worked with Gerard Ben Arous, Yann LeCun, and Leon Bottou focusing on the loss functions in deep learning, as well as applications of machine learning to social sciences. Levent’s main work in this collaboration is on understanding the geometrical and statistical properties of the loss functions that arise in machine learning algorithms.
PhD (2016-2019 with Ludovic Berthier and Francesco Zamponi, funding: Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon)
From 2020: Independent Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cambridge, UK
Camille Scalliet is currently a Herchel Smith Postdoctoral Fellow and Junior Research Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, at the University of Cambridge (UK). She joined the Soft Matter group lead by Michael Cates in 2019 as a Postdoctoral Researcher. She obtained her PhD in Theoretical Physics in 2019 at the University of Montpellier, France. She completed her studies in Physics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. She was part of the Simons Collaboration during her PhD, during which she published a series of studies on the nature of amorphous solids, focusing in particular on marginal stability and the Gardner phase, as well as on the nature of glass formation. She was awarded a L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship in 2018 and a IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Statistical Physics in 2022. Her current research focuses on non-equilibrium statistical physics and soft matter.
Postdoc with Francesco Zamponi (2015-2018 funding Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship & ERC GlassUniversality)
From July 2020, Research Scientist at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Spain.
Beatriz Seoane obtained her Ph.D in physics in 2013, at the Theoretical Physics Department of the UCM, Spain, under the supervision of Luis Antonio Fernández Pérez and Víctor Martín Mayor. She was later postdoctoral researcher at “La Sapienza” University in Rome under the supervision of Giorgio Parisi (2013-2015), Marie Curie fellow at the École Normale Supérieure of Paris (2015-2018) working with Francesco Zamponi, and postdoc at the Sorbonne University of Paris (2018-2020) under the supervision of Alessandra Carbone. She is interested in disordered systems and in computational methods for physics and biology. She recently joined the UCM to lead a project on intrinsically disordered proteins.
Postdoc (funding: Simons grant, 2017-2019, with Giorgio Parisi)
From 2021, Lecturer at King’s College London
Gabriele Sicuro is Lecturer in Disordered Systems at King’s College London. He obtained his PhD in 2015 at the University of Pisa, under the supervision of Sergio Caracciolo. He spent then two years in Brazil, working at the CBPF in Rio de Janeiro, and then moved to Sapienza University, in Rome, where he worked in the research group of Giorgio Parisi. In 2020 he joined Florent Krzakala’s group, first in ENS Paris, and then at EPFL, Switzerland. His research focuses on the statistical physics of disordered systems, with a special focus on random optimization problems, spectral properties of amorphous solids, inference problems, and learning.
Associate Director, AI Development & Platform, UBS (Zürich).
Stefano Spigler obtained his PhD at the Université de Paris Sud (Paris 11), where he worked under the supervision of Silvio Franz and studied the avalanche response of disordered glassy systems under an external perturbation. Afterwards he did a postdoc at the EPFL in collaboration with Matthieu Wyart, where his research focused on understanding the statistical properties of the energy landscape of deep neural networks and how they affect learning.
Since September 2020 he is developing AI models for UBS.
Postdoc (funding: ERC NPRGGLASS)
Working with Giulio Biroli, 2013-2017
From 2017, permanent researcher at CNRS, Paris
Pierfrancesco Urbani is a permanent CNRS researcher at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of CEA Saclay.. He has obtained his Ph.D. in 2014 both from the University of Rome La Sapienza and from the University of Paris Sud 11.
His research activity focuses on statistical physics of disordered and glassy systems.
Postdoc (funding: Simons Grant, 2016-2018)
Working with Patrick Charbonneau, 2014-2018
From 2018, permanent researcher at Facebook AI, San Francisco (CA)
Sho Yaida has been a postdoctoral associate at Duke University, working with Patrick Charbonneau. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2011 from Stanford University under the supervision of Stephen Shenker. While being an independent JSPS postdoctoral fellow at MIT, he then shifted his research focus from string theory to soft condensed matter physics. His current research activities include both field-theoretic and numerical studies of glassy systems, elucidating the role of hierarchical landscapes in finite dimensions.