Francesco Arceri
PhD student (September 2017-present)
Working with Eric Corwin

Francesco is studying the structure of packings subject to an effective logarithmic interparticle potential, predicted to be the effective mean-field free energy for hard sphere glasses. The purpose of his research is to create equilibrium thermal configurations of hard spheres using a zero temperature compression protocol which minimises the logarithmic potential. Doing so it is possible to obtain packings at densities inaccessible with conventional simulation schemes.

Francesco received his master degree in Theoretical Physics in January 2017 from “La Sapienza” University of Rome, Italy. During his master he focused his interests on disordered systems, in particular studying models to describe glasses working with Federico Ricci-Tersenghi.

Chitrak Bhadra
Postdoc (funding: Simons grant, April 2019-present)
Working with: David Reichman, Grzegorz Szamel and Patrick Charbonneau

Chitrak Bhadra is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Chemistry, Columbia University in the David Reichman Group. His primary interests are analytical and numerical investigations into extensions of Mode Coupling Theory to understand liquid-glass transition and glassy dynamics more accurately. He obtained his PhD in Physics from Jadavpur University, Kolkata (India) in early 2019 and was funded by a national fellowship from the Govt. of India. The topic of his PhD thesis was Fluctuation Dissipation Relations and Generalised Langevin equations in nonlinear systems and presented, among others, significant results in strong coupling regime of open systems.

Horst-Holger Boltz
Working with Jorge Kurchan, Andrea Liu, Sidney Nagel (2017-present)

Horst-Holger Boltz is currently a joint postdoc between the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago and the ECS Paris. He obtained his PhD in 2015 from the TU Dortmund under the supervision of Jan Kierfeld. Afterwards he did a two-year postdoc at the University of Göttingen with Stefan Klumpp.

His current work is on the evolution of the energy landscape in glassy systems under quasistatic driving.

Francesco Cagnetta
Postdoc (2020-present)
Working with Matthiew Wyars, EPFL, Lausanne

Francesco is a postdoctoral researcher in Matthieu Wyart’s group at EPFL, Lausanne. He obtained is PhD in May 2020 at the University of Edinburgh, studying the universal aspects of the dynamics of cell membranes with Martin R. Evans and Davide Marenduzzo. He is currently interested in machine learning, in particular the learning process of neural networks for idealised model data.

Simone Ciarella
Postdoc (2020-present)
Working with: Francesco Zamponi, David Reichman

Simone Ciarella is a postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratoire de Physique Théorique at École Normale Supérieure, in Paris. He is interested in predicting the properties of glassy materials from static information and tuning such properties by tailoring the particles that form the glass. He combines a theoretical approach based on Generalized-Mode-Coupling-Theory that he mastered during his PhD with Liesbeth Janssen, with state-of-the-art numerical methods like machine learning.

Stéphane d’Ascoli
PhD student
Working with Giulio Biroli (2018-present)

Stéphane d’Ascoli is a PhD student working between the Institute of Theoretical Physics (IPhT) of CEA and the Laboratory of Statistical Physics (LPS) of ENS. He is currently investigating the properties of energy landscapes in deep neural networks.


Cameron Dennis
PhD student
Working with Eric Corwin

Cameron Dennis is a PhD student at the University of Oregon under the supervision of Eric Corwin. Cameron is measuring the boundaries of the Gardner regime for zero temperature soft sphere systems.



Giampaolo Folena
Postdoc (funding: Simons Grant)
Working with Francesco Zamponi, Giulio Biroli, Patrick Charbonneau

Giampaolo Folena is a postdoctoral fellow at École Normale Supérieure in Paris. In March 2020 he obtained his PhD under the supervision of Silvio Franz (LPTMS at Paris-Saclay) and Federico Ricci-Tersenghi (University of Rome “Sapienza”), with a thesis focusing on the correspondences between the p-spin spherical model and supercooled liquids.

He is currently working on finite-size corrections of mean-field models of glasses, both at equilibrium and out of equilibrium.

Mario Geiger
Mario Geiger is a PhD at EPFL
Working with Matthieu Wyart

He is studying the neural networks.




Benjamin Guiselin
PhD student (funding: CFM Fondation pour la Recherche, 2018-present)
Working with Ludovic Berthier and Gilles Tarjus, 2018-present

Benjamin Guiselin is a PhD student at the University of Montpellier, after graduating with a Master Degree in Physics in September 2018 from the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon. His work is supervised by Ludovic Berthier (Simons PI) and Gilles Tarjus (Simons affiliate) and aims at measuring the configurational entropy, the Franz-Parisi potential and at assessing the existence of the Kauzmann transition in model glass-formers using computer simulations, eventually to constrain the theories of the glass transition.

Varda Faghir Hagh
Postdoc (funding: Simons grant, September 2018- present)
Working jointly with Sidney Nagel, Eric Corwin, and Lisa Manning

Varda received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University in July 2018 and joined the Simons collaboration on cracking the glass problem in September 2018. She is working jointly with Sidney Nagel, Eric Corwin, and Lisa Manning on the marginality gap problem. The focus of her research is to understand the nature and the reason behind any gap that exists between the predictions of the mean-field theories and the simulation results on the behavior of marginally stable disordered systems in lower dimensions. She is also interested in the study of memory formation in disordered jammed packs and is looking into the formation of limit cycles in two-level isostatic systems.

Andrew Hammond
Postdoc (funding: Simons grant, 2017-present)
Working with Eric Corwin

Andrew Hammond is a PhD student at the University of Oregon under the supervision of Eric Corwin. Andrew is using 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.


Yi Hu
PhD Student
Working with Patrick Charbonneau, 2016 – present

Yi Hu is a PhD student at Duke University in the department of Chemistry. Yi studies the dynamics of percolating systems, understanding caging and transport behaviors in disordered media by theory and computational techniques.



Wencheng Ji
PhD Student
Working with Matthieu Wyart, start from 2016.9

Wencheng Ji is a Phd student in the Physics department of EPFL. He is interested in the properties of the localised excitations like two-level systems and shear transformations and studies the relations between them and quasi-localised modes in amorphous solids by theory and numerical simulation.


Jaron Kent-DobiasJaron Kent-Dobias

Postdoc (October 2020 – present)
Working with Jorge Kurchan

Jaron is a postdoc at École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He obtained his PhD in June 2020 at Cornell University under the supervision of Jim Sethna. His graduate work included research on analytic properties of critical models, size-scaling in disordered fracture, and development of Monte Carlo algorithms. He is presently studying the structure of complex (with real and imaginary parts) complex (with super-extensive configurational entropy) landscapes with Jorge Kurchan.

Yann-Edwin Keta

PhD student (funding: Simons grant, September 2020-present)
Working jointly with Ludovic Berthier and Robert Jack

Yann-Edwin Keta is a PhD student at Laboratoire Charles Coulomb, Université de Montpellier, coadvised by Ludovic Berthier (Université de Montpellier, Simons PI) and Robert Jack (University of Cambridge). After graduating with a Master Degree in Physics in September 2018 from the École normale supérieure de Lyon, he worked as a visiting research student, from October 2019 to July 2020, at DAMTP, University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Robert Jack and Michael Cates, and MSC, Université de Paris, under the supervision of Frédéric van Wijland, on collective motion in large deviations of active particles.

His current research project aims at analysing, using computer simulation and analytical techniques, the complex phase behaviour and collective dynamics of minimal models of active matter.

Dmytro Khomenko
Postdoc (funding: Simons Grant, 11/2017-10/2020)
Working with Dave Reichman and Francesco Zamponi

Dmytro Khomenko obtained his PhD in 2017 from Weizmann Institute of Science under the supervision of Itamar Procaccia and Victor Lvov, where he studied quantum turbulence in superfluid helium. His current research is devoted to molecular dynamics of low-temperature glasses in the quantum regime.


Cathy Li
PhD Student working with Andrea J. Liu (2018-present)

I’m currently investigating the properties of the MK model computationally. In general, I’m interested in the dynamics and the complexity of glassy systems.




Chloe Lindeman
PhD student (funding: NSF GRFP, 2017-present; Simons Grant, summer 2017)
Working with Sidney R. Nagel (2017-present)

Chloe Lindeman is a PhD student at the University of Chicago. She is currently working with Sid Nagel on modifying spring networks created from jammed packings to elicit a frequency-dependent allosteric response.


Alessandro Manacorda
Working with Francesco Zamponi (2018-present)

Alessandro Manacorda is a postdoctoral researcher working at ENS, Paris. He obtained his PhD in 2017 at Rome University Sapienza, with a thesis on lattice models of fluctuating hydrodynamics in granular and active matter under the supervision of Andrea Puglisi. His research activity is now focused on the out of equilibrium dynamics of infinite-dimensional disordered and complex systems.

Felix-Cosmin Mocanu
Postdoc (funding: Simons Grant, July 2020 – present)
Working with Francesco Zamponi, Ludovic Berthier

Felix-Cosmin Mocanu obtained his PhD in Chemistry in November 2019 from the University of Cambridge, co-advised by Stephen Elliott and Gábor Csányi. During his doctoral studies he focused on the physics of amorphous semiconductor materials with resistive switching, as used in electronic phase-change memory devices. In parallel he worked on fitting the high-dimensional potential energy surfaces of these materials using kernel-based machine learning techniques. In December 2018 he started a postdoc in the Electrical Engineering Department in Cambridge with Prof. Jong Ming Kim on the physics of semiconducting quantum dots and amorphous oxides, for display and smart textile applications.

Since July 2020 he is a postdoctoral researcher Laboratoire de Physique Théorique at École Normale Supérieure, in Paris, working with Francesco Zamponi and Ludovic Berthier on the properties of glassy systems at low temperatures

petermorsePeter Morse
Postdoc with Patrick Charbonneau (2019-present)

Peter Morse is a postdoc in Patrick Charbonneau’s group at Duke University studying the finite size effects of the Gardner transition. He earned his PhD with Eric Corwin at the University of Oregon where he studied the role of geometry in jammed systems via metrics of the Voronoi tessellation in addition to studying the percolation of rigid clusters near jamming. As a postdoc in Lisa Manning’s group, he investigated properties of rearrangements in sheared systems and the relationship between shear and random force.

Yoshihiko NishikawaYoshihiko Nishikawa
Postdoc with Ludovic Berthier (2020-present)

Yoshihiko Nishikawa is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Montpellier. He obtained his PhD degree in 2018 at the University of Tokyo under the supervision of Koji Hukushima. His doctoral researches focused on development of Monte Carlo algorithms and phase transitions in spin systems using large-scale Monte Carlo simulations. He is currently working on athermal disordered packing of particles below and above jamming by using numerical simulations.


Misaki Ozawa

Working at ENS with Giulio Biroli and Francesco Zamponi

Misaki OZAWA was a postdoc at the University of Montpellier in France (2016-2019), working with Ludovic Berthier.
He studied entropy of glassy materials.

Since 2019 he is a postdoc at ENS Paris. He is currently working on the yielding of amorphous materials using a mesoscopic approach and its potential connection with random field Ising models. He also studies the connection between physics and machine learning using tools and concepts from the renormalization group and wavelet transformation.

Nidhi Pashine
PhD student
Working with Sidney Nagel (2015-present)

Nidhi is a graduate student in Physics at the University of Chicago. She works with spring networks and other systems that are based on jamming. She experimentally investigates the properties of such systems and tunes them to show interesting mechanical responses.


Franco Pellegrini
Postdoc (funding: Simons Grant, 2019-2020) working with Giulio Biroli
From September 2020: postdoc at ENS, Paris

Franco Pellegrini obtained his PhD from SISSA (Trieste), working with Erio Tosatti on atomic scale models of friction and the dissipative dynamics of classical and quantum systems. During his postdoc with Giulio Biroli he worked on the description of the training dynamics of neural networks and other machine learning models. His research interests revolve around the construction of simple models to improve our understanding of complex systems out of equilibrium.

Marko Popovic
Working with Matthieu Wyart

I am a postdoc in with Matthieu Wyart at EPFL, Laussane. I obtained my PhD in Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden working on hydrodynamic description of developing fly wing tissue with Frank Juelicher. Currently I am using elasto-plastic models to study plasticity of amorphous solids.

Sean Ridout
PhD student at University of Pennsylvania (funding: Simons grant)
Working with Andrea Liu (PhD supervisor), 2016 – present

Sean Ridout is a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania. Under the supervision of Andrea Liu, he is studying critical phenomena near the jamming transition of soft spheres.



Jason Rocks
PhD student (September 2013-present)
Working with Andrea Liu

Jason Rocks is a PhD student at the University of Pensylvania working with Andrea Liu. He studies disordered complex systems in soft matter and biological physics through a topological lens, utilizing new methods in topological data analysis to identify structural order parameters that govern the physical properties of these systems. His thesis work has focused on using this approach to understand the structural mechanisms by which biological networks, such as allosteric proteins and the brain vasculature, are able to attain functionality.

Félix Roy

PhD student (funding: CFM Fondation pour la Recherche, 2017-present)
Working with Giulio Biroli, 2017-present

Félix Roy is a PhD student at the Institute of Theoretical Physics (IPhT) of CEA, Saclay. Under the supervision of Giulio Biroli, he is currently investigating the dynamics of interacting ecosystems, based on the mean field Lotka-Volterra model with random interactions.


James Sartor
Phd student
Working with Eric Corwin

James Sartor is a PhD student at the University of Oregon under the supervision of Eric Corwin. James is directly measuring the entropy of the force configuration of jammed packings by enumerating all of the possible force configurations that will keep a system in mechanical equilibrium.


Antonio Sclocchi
PhD student (Funding Simons Grant starting September 2017)
Working with Silvio Franz (Starting September 2017)

Antonio Sclocchi is a PhD student of Université Paris-Sud 11 working at LPTMS with Silvio Franz on the dynamics of the glass transition. He graduated in 2016 in Physics of Complex Systems in a joint master between Politecnico di Torino and Université Paris-Sud; his previous research experience regards spin-boson models in quantum physics.


Gabriele Sicuro
​​Postdoc (funding: Simons grant, 2017-2019)
Working with Giorgio Parisi

Gabriele Sicuro is a postdoctoral fellow at Sapienza University of Rome. 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. His research focuses on the application of the statistical physics of disordered systems to random optimization problems. Currently, he is also working on the spectral properties of amorphous solids.

Ethan Stanifer
Ph.D. Student
Working with Lisa Manning

Ethan Stanifer is a PhD student at Syracuse University under the supervision of Lisa Manning. Ethan is currently working on structural analyses of amorphous material as predictors of plasticity with the goal to constrain elastoplastic and other continuum models. He also works with sparse random matrix models and their relationship to low dimensional glassy physics.

georgiospic5_simonsGeorgios Tsekenis
Postdoc (funding: Simons grant, 2018-present)
Working with Giorgio Parisi

Georgios Tsekenis is currently a Researcher at the Sapienza University of Rome focusing on jamming and glasses with Giorgio Parisi. Georgios started his studies in Athens, Greece. He got his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012 on the avalanching behavior of crystalline plasticity. He published on complex networks at Northeastern University and friction experiments at Harvard before joining the Simons Collaboration on cracking the glass problem. Since then he has published on the Gardner behavior of near crystals and currently is focusing on the energy landscape of jamming and glasses.

Ge_ZhangGe Zhang
Postdoc with Andrea Liu, (2017-present)

At the University of Pennsylvania, he is studying avalanche propagations in quasistatically sheared soft-sphere models using machine learning.