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Physics & Astronomy Alumni Updates

  • Kristin Davis ’18 (BS Physics)
    University of Delaware, PhD Program, Statistics
  • Ali Hyder ’18 (BS Physics)
    New Mexico State University, PhD Program, Astrophysics
  • Robert Watson ’18 (BS Physics)
    Stony Brook University, MS in Applied Mathematics
  • Zachary Mizrachi ’18 (BS Physics and Mathematics)
    Cornell University, PhD Program in Electrical Engineering
  • Kyle Castoria '17 (BS Physics)
    PhD Program, Princeton University, Electrical Engineering
    Read about Kyle and Professor Adam Durst teaming up on research that was published in Physical Review B while Kyle was a Hofstra undergrad.
  • Joseph Miraglia ‘17 (BA Physics)
    Hofstra University, MSEd 
  • Pravjit Bhatti ’17 (BS Physics and BA in Psychology)
    Georgetown University School of Medicine, MS in Biophysics and Physiology
  • Steven Falco ’17 (BS Physics)
    Queens College, MA in Science Teacher Education/General Science Teacher Education
  • Richard Myers ’17 (BS Physics and Mathematics)
    UCLA PhD Program, Physics
    Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Wantagh, NY
  • Michael Nino ’17 (BS Physics and Mathematics)
    Pennsylvania State University, MS in Aerospace Engineering
  • Travis Rogowski ’17 (BS Physics)
    CUNY, PhD Program, Physics
  • Mahin Tariq ’16, ’18 (BS Physics and MS Medical Physics)
    Radiation Therapy Quality Assurance Technician for Northwell Health
  • Claire Weaver '16 (BS Physics, Mathematics)
    PhD Program, University of California, Santa Barbara, Material Science Engineering
    Physics/Math Major Receives Nat'l Award for Women in Science
  • Charlotte Wood ’16 (BS Physics)
    University of Notre Dame, PhD Program in Astrophysics
  • Daniel Alanko ’15 (BS Physics)
    M.D. Program, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine
  • (Femi) Hassan Aliyu ’15 (BS Physics)
    Air Force Officer Training Program
  • Bassir Caravan ’15 (BS Physics)
    M.D. Program, NYU School of Medicine
    As an undergraduate, Bassir pursued independent research projects such as a statistical analysis of the Hofstra Course Teacher Ratings using principle components analysis. By studying the correlation matrix of student responses to different questions, he concluded that the survey was chiefly two dimensional—measuring only aggregates associated with “instructor effectiveness” and “course difficulty.”  Bassir Caravan also developed collaborative projects with Dr. Gregory Levine such as Electoral Susceptibility, a quantitative ranking of the values of swing states in the Electoral College. Caravan and Levine worked together on several topics in Quantum Information resulting in a publication, “Scaling of Entanglement Entropy in a Point-Contact Free Fermion System,” Physical Review A89, 052305 (2014) and a manuscript, “Entanglement Temperature and Perturbed AdS3 Geometry.” Read about Caravan at a White House event
  • David Guralnick ’15 (BS in Physics and Mechanical Engineering)
    Completed an MS in Robotics, Systems and Controls from ETH Zurich in 2016
  • Jessica Magarinos ’15 (BS Applied Physics, Biochemistry Concentration)
    M.D. Program, College of Medicine-SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  • Amanda Lesar ’15 (BS Physics & Mathematics) 
    New York University, Ph.D. Program, Department of Physics
    Amanda Lesar pursued experimental solid state physics in the laser spectroscopy lab of Dr. Rohana Garuthara. Amanda Lesar’s work, “Optical Properties of CdSe Nanocrystalline Photoanodes,” is based upon her research project with Dr. Garuthara on fabrication of photoelectrochemical solar cells using CdSe nanocrystalline photoanodes.  She is continuing her experimental physics studies in the Soft Condensed Matter Physics Group in the Department of Physics at New York University.
  • Erin Reagan ‘15 (BS Physics & Biochemistry)
    University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D. program, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
    Erin Reagan was the first student in the history of Hofstra University to double major in Physics and Biochemistry, two of the most demanding BS programs.
  • Andrew Berisha-Cornejo ’14 (BS Physics)
    Data Engineer, Hedgeye Risk Management
  • Michael Giacomazza ’14 (BS Physics and Mathematics)
    Purdue University, PhD Program, Materials Engineering
  • Emma Kast ‘14 (BS Physics and Chemistry)
    Princeton University, Ph.D. Program, Department of Geosciences
    Emma Kast works in a lab that focuses on the biogeochemistry of the oceans particularly with regards to nitrogen cycling. She writes: “I am about to start on a project analyzing the nitrogen isotopic composition of shark teeth - this information can possibly answer questions about trophic level, environment, and evolution in the modern and past oceans (the fossil record for sharks goes back 100s of millions of years!).”  “…having an overall background in physics has already been advantageous … the ability to simplify complex problems are important parts of starting to understand the atmosphere and oceans…[such as] radiation and Earth’s energy budget, physical processes like mixing and density stratification.   Also, with my research I get to use great instruments like high sensitivity mass specs - knowing what is actually going on inside from a physics perspective is definitely a plus when it comes to understanding the results.”
    Emma Kast worked with Drs. Harold Hastings (Physics) and Sabrina Sobel (Chemistry) on the subject of excitable media.
  • Endri Mani ’14 (BS Physics & Mathematics) 
    Columbia University, MS, Engineering
    Endri Mani prepared polycrystalline Cu2O films on ITO glass plates using the electrodeposition technique. The prepared films were used as photoanodes to fabricate liquid junction solar cells. He observed n- and p-type conductivity of Cu2O photoanodes depend on the electrodeposition bath conditions pH and deposition voltage. He used photoreflectance and absorption spectroscopy to measure optical properties of the fabricated photoanodes at 77K to room temperature. An abstract was published on this work in the Bulletin of the 2014 APS March meeting.
    He writes: “I worked under the advisement of Dr. Rohana Garuthara for a full year on the Absorption Spectra of Photovoltaic cells. That experience helped me tremendously; I learned to work independently in a lab, started reading research papers and learned a lot. It has also helped me in trying to pick an advisor, because now I have a general idea of what research I am interested in doing. I have also found that knowing a few programming languages is very helpful. Almost all of the research currently being done in the Applied Physics / Applied Mathematics department here at Columbia involves some sort of programming.”
  • Joseph Burg ‘13 (BS Physics & Mathematics)
    Stanford University, PhD program, Department of Materials Sciences
    As an undergraduate, Joseph Burg was a Rhodes Scholar finalist and starting pitcher on the Hofstra Baseball team.  He worked with Dr. Gregory Levine on noise and counting statistics in disordered 1-d conductors and coauthored an article in Physical Review. His research interests at Stanford are to develop computational methods to address the fundamental relationships between molecular structure and resulting mechanical properties of organosilicate glasses. More information
    Publications at Hofstra:
    “Full counting statistics in a disordered free fermion system,” G. C. Levine, M. J. Bantegui* and J. A. Burg*, Physical Review, B86, 174202 (2012).
    Read about Joe’s undergraduate academic and athletic achievements
  • Steven Ferdinand ’13 (BS Physics and Mathematics)
    BAE Systems Incorporated, Electrical Engineer
    Through his own research, Ferdinand became interested in a topic called sonoluminescence. A fluid under periodic strain can produce small vacuum bubbles. Upon collapse, these bubbles produce a very energetic flash of (mostly UV) light. He discovered that several international research groups had pioneered relatively “low-tech” approaches to the problem and decided to try one on his own. He enlisted the help and mentorship of Professor Steve Campolo and built the hardware and electronics for a sonoluminescence vessel, which became his honors project.
  • Jackson Halpin ’13 (BS Applied Physics, Biochemistry Concentration)
    Brandeis University, PhD Program, Department of Biophysics.
    Halpin ‘s research at Brandeis is focused “on protein folding and a particular molecular chaperone called hsp90. I do a lot of experimental biochemistry but I also use a bit of coding to develop models which interpret results and direct new experiments.”

    While he was a student at Hofstra, his research project focused on fabricating Cu2O based solar cells and optically characterizing them using photoluminescence, photoreflectance and absorption spectroscopy. Jackson prepared chlorine doped Cu2O films on ITO glass plates using the electrodeposition technique. The prepared films were used as photoanodes to fabricate liquid junction solar cells. He observed conductivity of Cu2O photoanodes depend on the electrodeposition bath conditions such as bath temperature, pH and deposition voltage. He presented his research findings at the American Physical Society (APS) March meeting.

    He writes: “Hofstra did a great job in preparing me for grad school. I learned how to solve problems, stick with a project until the end, and then communicate the results of my project to others. Without any undergrad research experience I would have had nothing to talk about in my interviews, essentially. The departmental honors presentation was also very valuable because I had to communicate my results to others. Presentation is something I have found to be surprisingly important in grad school so far and science in general. Lastly, I gained a lot out of going to the American Physical Society conference with Drs. Garuthara, Levine and Bassir Caravan. Seeing the physics community come together and share ideas was an awesome, eye opening experience. I learned a lot from talking and listening to people at the conference.”
  • Kevin Mercer ’13 (BS Physics)
    Completed a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering at Boston University (’14). Currently working as a data analyst at Precision Coating and was an engineer for Koch Membrane Systems.
  • Matt Nazario ’13 (BS Physics and Mathematics)
    Lab Engineer for Universal Photonics
  • Damon Pappas ’13, ’15 (BS in Physics and MS in Medical Physics)
    Product specialist and account manager for SIRIS Medical, former regional account manager for Standard Imaging and a former regional manager for PTW Bio-Medical Instrumentation Calibration.
    Pappas worked with Dr. Brett Bochner on a project in Big Bang Cosmology, designed to study the acceleration of the universe. Using sophisticated fits to archival data on Type Ia Supernovae obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope, Damon produced a scientific poster titled, “Is the Cosmological Constant Causing the Universe to Accelerate?”, which he presented at the Colonial Athletic Alliance Undergraduate Research Conference in April 2013. This project was highlighted in the Fall 2013 issue of “Hofstra Horizons of Undergraduate Research”, and the results obtained in this study were published in Astrophysical Journal. While pursuing his MS degree, Damon worked in our department as an Instructor for the general physics laboratory course required for Hofstra University students of physical science.
  • Michael Bantegui ’12 (BS Physics and Computer Science) 
    Service Delivery Engineer, Converged Technology Group
    As a sophomore, Michael Bantegui developed an independent interest in gravitational many body physics and coded a simulation of the motion of stars in a star cluster. In his junior and senior years he worked with Dr. Gregory Levine on numerical simulations of quantum many-particle physics. In particular, he contributed to projects on the signatures of quantum entanglement in time-of-flight measurements in cold atom gases as well as noise and counting statistics in disordered 1-d conductors. As a student, Michael co-authored two publications in Physical Review:
    “Full counting statistics in a disordered free fermion system,” G. C. Levine, M. J. Bantegui* and J. A. Burg*, Physical Review, B86, 174202 (2012).
    “Detecting many-body entanglements in noninteracting ultracold atomic fermi gases,” G. C. Levine, B. A. Friedman and M. J. Bantegui*, Physical Review, A83, 013623 (2011).
  • Waqqas Khan ’12 (BS Physics and Engineering)
    Stanford University, MS, Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
    Waqqas Khan is currently a software engineer for General Motors. As a Hofstra student he studied n-type and p-type conductivity of Cu2O films, prepared by electrodeposition technique. He used Cu2O films to fabricate liquid junction solar cells. Waqqas utilized photoluminescence spectroscopy and photocurrent responses to optically characterize the prepared thin film photoanodes. He presented his research findings at two APS meetings.
  • Laura McGuire ‘10 (BA Physics)
    Half Hollow Hills High School, Physics Teacher
    Laura McGuire teaches high school physics and is an adjunct instructor in the Hofstra University Physics Department.
  • Dr. David Miller ’08 (BS Applied Physics and Engineering) 
    High Meadows Postdoctoral Atmospheric Science Fellow
    Following his 2014 graduation from Princeton University with a PhD in Environmental Engineering, David Miller continued his studies as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brown University. He is currently working with the Environmental Defense Fund as a High Meadows Postdoctoral Atmospheric Science Fellow.
    While at Hofstra, Miller participated in undergraduate research projects ranging from semiconductor physics and condensed matter theory to environmental physics. He worked with Dr. Rohana Garuthara and Engineering Professor Margaret Hunter on his thesis “Atmospheric Organic Nitrogen Deposition: Photoluminescence Spectroscopy Monitoring Techniques & Elucidating Sources.” David used photoluminescence spectroscopy to study electron-hole recombination processes in electrochemically deposited Cu2O thin films. Then he used photoluminescence spectroscopy as a monitoring technique to investigate atmospheric organic nitrogen deposition on various surfaces. With Dr. Gregory Levine, he worked on quantum information, coauthoring a paper in Physical Review on the subject of quantum entanglement entropy in a single quantum channel.
    Zero-dimensional area law in a gapless fermionic system,” G. C. Levine and D. J. Miller, Phys. Rev. B77, 205119 (2008).