Alumni Updates '08-'09

  • Hubert Burke (Ph.D. ‘95 Solid State Physics) is embarking upon on a second career. He is working on his first movie that he is writing, composing the sound track for, acting in, and directing.
  • Alex Casti (Ph.D. ‘99 Applied Mathematics) is an Assistant Research Professor in the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers and an APAM Adjunct Associate Professor.
  • James Coromilas (B.S. ‘69, Applied Physics) is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Cardiology Department at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.
  • Robert Hartman (B.S. ‘59 Applied Physics) and his wife attended the departmental luncheon during the SEAS Alumni Reunion and Dean’s Days Weekend from Wednesday, June 3, through Sunday, June 7, 2009. He is currently the Vice President of Device Development at CyOptics Inc. in Pennsylvania.
  • Bahram Jalali (Ph.D ‘89 Applied Physics) was a featured speaker at the Columbia Symposium on Pure and Applied Science: Honoring Richard M. Osgood Jr.
  • Steffen Kaldor (Ph.D. ‘02 Materials Science & Engineering) works at IBM’s advanced 300mm semiconductor fabricator in East Fishkill, NY, as the manager of manufacturing process integration and yield improvement. He and his wife LuAnn, have two sons, Sebastian and Alexander.
  • Irina Kalish (M.S./CVN ’07 Materials Science & Engineering) welcomed daughter, Abigal Lydia Kalish, born on April 15, 2009.
  • Kenneth Kin (M.S., D.E.S. ‘75, Nuclear Engineering) has been elected to the Board of Directors of SMSC, subject to reelection at the 2009 Annual Meeting of stockholders. Dr. Kin recently retired from his role as Senior Vice President, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (TSMC), where he had responsibility for global sales, services and marketing. He was formerly Vice President, Worldside Sales and Services at IBM Microlectronics, Vice President and Director of Operations for the Computer Group at Motorla Inc. and served in various sales and marketing roles for several other Asia Pacific companies in the computing and telecommunications markets. Dr. Kin received a B.S. degree from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan and worked with Prof. Herbert Goldstein to earned his M.S. and D.E.S. in Nuclear Engineering at Columbia.
  • Quinn Marksteiner (Ph.D ‘08 Plasma Physics) was an invited speaker at the American Physical Society’s 50th Annual Meeting of the Division of Plasma Physics from November 17–21, 2008 in Dallas, Texas.
  • Timothy Merlis (B.S. ‘06 Applied Mathematics) attended the Plumbfest Symposium at Columbia University. He is currently a graduate student in Environmental Science and Engineering at the California Institute of Technology.
  • Theodore Moustakas (Ph.D. ‘74 Solid State Physics) presented a talk at an Optics Seminar this fall at Columbia. He has been a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering since ‘87, a Professor of Physics since ‘91, and a Faculty Member of the Center for Photonics Research since ‘94 at Boston University. He is currently the director of the Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Lab. He held research and visiting faculty positions at Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Aristotle University, IBM Watson Research Lab, and Exxon Corporate Research Lab. His research contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics in opto-electronic materials and devices, including nitride semiconductors, amorphous semiconductors and diamond thin films. He is the co-editor of 8 books and the author of more than 300 publications. He has been granted 25 U.S. patents and several are pending. Intellectual property that resulted from his work has been licensed to a number of companies, including major manufactures of blue LEDs and lasers (Cree and Philips LumiLeds in the U.S. and Nichia in Japan). He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in ‘94 and of the Electrochemical Society in ‘97. He was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Aristotle University in ’03 and the MBE Innovator Award in ‘10.
  • Manju Prakash (Ph.D. ‘85 Plasma Physics) writes “My Ph.D. in theoretical plasma physics provided me an opportunity to make an impact on unexplored territories of science, both as a scientist and an educator. At SUNY Stony Brook, I produced scholarly research papers in quark-gluon plasmas based on the observational data available at Brookhaven National Lab. I also explored the role of plasma processes in the realms of accreting matter in binary stars. I advanced my career in nano-devices and nanofluids while at Cornell. After gaining some experience in technology/ nanotechnology at Intel, I decided to teach advanced placement physics courses at the Maine School of Science and Math and the Wilbraham & Monson Academy. Currently, I am a physics faculty member at Linden Hall in PA.”
  • Aaron Wininger (B.S. ‘94 Applied Physics) writes “2009 marks my third year in Shanghai. I have a beautiful 3-year old daughter who is now fluent in bolth children’s English and Mandarin. She has recently started attending Dulwich, a British school out here, and is developing a British accent. I have recently joined the law firm Nixon Peabody LLP as partner, where I do intellectual property and corporate finance law including private investments in public equity (PIPEs) for Chinese companies listeing overseas. In my spare time, I love to go to KTV (karaoke) with my friends here.”
  • Matthew Witten (Ph.D. ‘04 Medical Physics) has been appointed as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the APAM Department. He will be overseeing a graduate student this year. Witten was featured in the December 2008 New York Times article “Geography Has Role in Medicare Cancer Coverage”. Witten currently runs the CyberKnife program at the Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola and is an advocate for the new radiation treatment for prostate cancer.
  • Plasma Physics alumni made presentations at the biannual IAEA Meeting on Controlled Fusion Energy in Geneva from October 13-18, 2008. Dave Maurer (Ph.D. ‘00), Adjunct Assistant Professor and Associate Research Scientist, representing the HBT-EP tokamak research project, spoke on “Control of Kink Modes Near the Ideal Wall Limit Using Kalman Filtering and Optimal Control Techniques.” David Gates, (Ph.D. ‘94), presented “Overview of Results from the National Spherical Torus Experiment”. Steve Sabbagh (Ph.D. '90), Adjunct Professor and Senior Research Scientist, spoke on “Advances in Global MHD Stabilization Research on NSTX”.

500 W. 120th St., Mudd 200, MC 4701 New York, NY 10027 / Phone: 212-854-4457 / Fax: 212-854-8257 / Email:

©2012 Columbia University