Renata M. M. Wentzcovitch is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics Department, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. Research in her group is devoted to computational quantum mechanical studies of materials. She addresses electronic, structural, and vibrational properties from a fundamental and inter-related perspective. She has developed and applied materials simulation methods particularly to investigate materials properties at high pressures and temperatures.
Michael Tippett's article, “More tornadoes in the most extreme U.S. tornado outbreaks,” was recently published in Science via First Release. Tippett and his team looked at increasing trends in the severity of tornado outbreaks where they measured severity by the number of tornadoes per outbreak. They found that these trends are increasing fastest for the most extreme outbreaks. While they saw changes in meteorological quantities that are consistent with these upward trends, the meteorological trends were not the ones expected under climate change.
Guillaume Bal, Professor of Applied Mathematics, has been elected a fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) "for contributions to inverse problems and wave propagation in random media". Prof. Bal's research interests focus on Partial Differential Equations; mathematical analysis of inverse problems, including hybrid inverse problems and inverse transport problems; applications in medical and geophysical imaging; equations with random coefficients and propagation of stochasticity; convergence to deterministic or stochastic models; and wave propagation and imaging in heterogeneous media.
In 2013, Chris Marianetti was awarded a RISE grant entitled “A new approach to the interacting phonon problem”, which allowed for the support of a postdoctoral researcher and resulted in, among other things, a publication in a noted physics journal, Physical Review Letters. This work was substantial enough to form a foundation for a proposal to the Department of Energy (DOE) Basic Energy Sciences (BES) division, and this was recently (September 2016) funded at a level of $415,000 over a period of three years.
Yuan Yang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, has developed a new method to increase the energy density of lithium (Li-ion) batteries. He has built a trilayer structure that is stable even in ambient air, which makes the battery both longer lasting and cheaper to manufacture. The work, which may improve the energy density of lithium batteries by 10-30%, is published online today in Nano Letters.