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.

elisabethagoritsasElisabeth Agoritsas
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.

jesiMarco Baity-Jesi
Postdoc (2016-2019) with Giulio Biroli & David Reichman,
Since 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)
Since the fall of 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.


Fernanda Benetti
Postdoc (funding: Simons grant, 2017-2018, working with Giorgio Parisi)
Since 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.

Eric DeGiuli
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.

Elijah Flenner
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.

Laura Foini
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.

Giacomo Gradenigo
Postdoc (funding: Simons Grant, 2017-2019), working with Giorgio Parisi and Luca Leuzzi
From 2020, tenure-track assistant professor (Italian RTDb), 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 2010 to 2012 he has been a CNR-ISC (Complex Systems Institute) post-doctoral fellow in Rome, working on the out-of-equilibrium dynamics of granular matter, anomalous diffusion and large deviations in the group of Angelo Vulpiani. He then moved to Paris, working on the project NSGTEA (“New Strategies for the Glass Transition: from Equilibrium Theories to Aging dynamics”) in collaboration with Giulio Biroli and Silvio Franz (2013-2014). From 2015 to 2017 he worked in the group of Jean-Louis Barrat in Grenoble, mostly on problems related to the Edwards thermodynamics of frictional system, in a close collaboration with Eric Bertin. From 2017 to 2019 he has been a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Rome Sapienza, working in collaboration with Giorgio Parisi and Luca Leuzzi. His interests span from the thermodynamics of glassy systems to the out-of-equilibrium dynamics and effective “equilibrium” theories for systems with dissipative interactions.

Daniel Hexner
Postdoc with Sidney R. Nagel and Andrea J. Liu (2015-2019) (funding: Simons grant, 2016 – 2019)
Since Oct. 2019 Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Technion, Israel.

Daniel Hexner obtained his Ph.D. in 2015 from the Technion University under the supervision of Dov Levine, studying the emergence of anomalously small fluctuations in non-equilibrium systems. From 2015-2019 he was a postdoc with Sidney R. Nagel and Andrea J. Liu working on elasticity, structure and aging of disordered solids. Research interests: large scale structure of disordered systems, elasticity of disordered materials and self-organization as a means to train material responses.


Sungmin Hwang
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 (

Joyjit Kundu
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.

francoislandes_touchcropFrançois 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.

Jacopo Rocchi
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 (

Valentina Ros
Post-doc with Giulio Biroli, 2016-2019
From 2019: independent postdoc (Junior Research Chair) at ENS, Paris

Valentina Ros obtained her Ph.D in statistical physics in 2016, at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste. She has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Theoretical Physics of CEA in Saclay (2016-2018) and the Laboratoire de Physique in the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris (2018-2019), where she worked in collaboration with Giulio Biroli. 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, and on the characterisation of the statistical properties of rugged, high-dimensional energy landscapes.


Levent Sagun
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.

photo_UrbaniPierfrancesco Urbani
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.

Sho_YaidaSho Yaida
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.