The Department of
Physics and Astronomy
Prof. Evelyn Tang is joining the department as an assistant professor in theoretical biological physics. With a doctoral degree in condensed matter theory from MIT and postdoctoral experience at the University of Pennsylvania, for the last three years Prof. Tang has been a group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, Germany. Prof. Tang’s research is at the intersection of out-of-equilibrium physics and robust biological function, focusing on emergent function in living systems, including the role of topology and information flow in active matter. She will be a member of the NSF-supported Center for Theoretical Biological Physics and a great addition to the department.
Prof. Darin Acosta is also joining the department this fall as a full professor in experimental particle physics. Prof. Acosta, who comes to us from the University of Florida, is an expert on particle physics at the energy frontier and currently serves as trigger coordinator for the Compact Muon Solenoid detector at the Large Hadron Collider. In addition to holding leadership roles in the CMS collaboration, Prof. Acosta is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and has been very active both in undergraduate education and public outreach activities, including the NSF-funded QuarkNet program. Prof. Acosta will complement and strengthen our particle physics research and be an excellent supporter of the department’s broader educational and outreach missions.
Dr. Julie Hoeink is also joining us as a lecturer, as the department reconfigures our instructional efforts to better accommodate the expanding undergraduate student population. Dr. Hoeink has a PhD in experimental condensed matter physics from UC Santa Barbara and followed that with a NSF-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Münster studying surface magnetism of thin films in ultrahigh vacuum. She comes to the department with experience educating students at the high school and college level as well as work with the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and she will be a wonderful addition to our instructional team.
Prof. Megan Reiter is joining Rice's Department of Physics and Astronomy in July 2022 as an assistant professor in the astrophysics of star and planet formation. Following a doctorate in astronomy from the University of Arizona, Prof. Reiter was a Dean B. McLaughlin Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan and a Rutherford International/Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the UK Astronomy Technology Center. She is presently a European Southern Observatory Fellow at the ESO headquarters in Garching, Germany. Her research focuses on the role of stellar feedback in the survival of protoplanetary disks and the composition and evolution of the planet-forming disk environment. Prof. Reiter brings both scientific excellence and a commitment to education and outreach, complementing and expanding existing efforts within the department.