Aditi Simha was born on 28 December 1972 as the second child of Prof. Roddam Narasimha and Dr. Neelima Narasimha. She completed her Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science in 2003. During her Ph.D., she did outstanding and well-cited work on the physics of active matter, under the mentorship of Prof. Sriram Ramaswamy. After her Ph.D., Aditi joined the Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, Germany, where she did post-doctoral research in the group of Prof. Frank Jülicher. In 2005, she moved to the University of Leeds, U.K, where she spent two years in the group of Prof. Mike Evans, engaged in research in non-equilibrium statistical physics. Aditi joined the Department of Physics, IIT Madras, as an Assistant Professor in 2008. An insightful and gifted physicist, Aditi was also known for her caring, helpful, and compassionate attitude toward students and colleagues alike. She passed away on 5 December 2018.
The 2023 edition of the Aditi Simha Memorial Symposium on Soft Matter Physics will be held on 31 March and 01 April 2023. The event will start at 2pm on 31 March and end at 6pm on 1 April. An endowment fund from Prof. Roddam Narasimha and Dr. Neelima Narasimha supports this symposium.

The venue of the symposium is: IC & SR Building, IIT Madras, Near Gajendra Circle, Opposite to Admin Building, IIT Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600036.

Confirmed speakers

The following is a brief bio of the speakers.

Vijayakumar Chikkadi is a PI of a Soft Matter Lab at the Physics department of IISER Pune. He completed his PhD at the University of Amsterdam and worked as a post-doctoral researcher at ENS Lyon and MPI Stuttgart. He joined IISER Pune in 2017. Dr. Chikkadi's research focuses on studying emergent properties of soft and active matter using colloidal models. His group specializes in fabricating novel colloidal models by tailoring their shapes and interactions and utilizing external fields to mimic properties of both living and non-living matter. Some examples of their research include studying the vibrational modes of colloidal crystals and glasses, elastic and plastic properties of amorphous solids, and collective behavior of synthetic active matter.
Chandan Dasgupta is emeritus professor in the Department of Physics of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. He did doctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania, postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Diego and Harvard University, and taught at the University of Minnesota for a few years before joining Indian Institute of Science in 1987. He has made important contributions in the theory of phase transitions, statistical mechanics of disordered systems, kinetics of surface growth and fluctuations, and dynamics of supercooled liquids near the glass transition.
Rajesh Ganapathy obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in 2006. He later moved to the Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Cornell University, NY, USA, for a postdoctoral fellowship (2007-2009). Rajesh joined JNCASR in 2009 and is currently a Professor at the International Centre for Materials Science.
Kavita Jain received her PhD in theoretical physics from TIFR Mumbai and conducted postdoctoral work at University of Cologne (Germany) and Weizmann Institute (Israel). She joined JNCASR in 2007 as a faculty where she is currently a Professor. Her research interests lie in nonequilibrium statistical physics and theoretical population genetics.
Sreeram K. Kalpathy is currently an associate professor in the department of metallurgical and materials engineering at IIT Madras, Chennai. He completed his B.Tech and M.Tech (under dual degree programme) in metallurgical and materials engineering from IIT Madras in the year 2007, and then his PhD from University of Minnesota, USA in 2012. He joined IIT Madras as a faculty member in 2015, prior to which, he worked at National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal. His research interests are polymers, colloids, fluid mechanics, and interfacial phenomena in soft matter systems.
Dr. Sreeram has authored 32 journal publications in well-known peer-reviewed journals, with average journal impact factor of 5.65. He has also given oral presentations and invited talks in several conferences and workshops. He was awarded the Young Faculty Recognition Award of IIT Madras for excellence in teaching and research in the year 2021. Master’s and doctoral research students from his group at IIT Madras have also won best paper/poster awards on 6 occasions at various conferences/symposia.
Richa Karmakar obtained B. Tech in Biotechnology from the Heritage Institute of Technology, Kolkata, followed by M. Tech in Food Technology and Biochemical Engineering from Jadavpur University. After that, she pursued her Ph.D. with Prof. Mahesh S Tirumkudulu and Prof. K. V. Venkatesh at the Chemical Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai. During her Ph.D., she worked on bacterial chemotaxis, and her thesis work was selected for the best thesis award from the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Institute, along with the prestigious R. G. Manudhane Ph.D. excellence award. Dr. Karmakar subsequently joined the laboratory of Dr. Wouter-Jan Rappel and the Late Prof. William Loomis at the University of California San Diego, USA, as a Post Doctoral fellow. She served the department as a Physics lecturer and Assistant Project Scientist. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Biotechnology, IIT Madras, working as an experimentalist to evaluate the biophysical aspects of Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic chemotaxis and disease diagnosis using microfluidics. She won DBT- India Alliance Wellcome Trust Early Career Fellowship.
Mohamed Laradji is a professor at the Department of Physics and Materials Science at the University of Memphis. He earned his BS in physics from Djillali Liabes University (Algeria), MS and PhD from McGill University. He did postdoctoral work with David Landau at the University of Georgia and Rashmi Desai at the University of Toronto. His work has been focussed on a variety of problems in soft matter and biological physics, including lipid membranes, polymers, phase separation, and nanocomposites. Mohamed Laradji is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and has received several research awards from the University of Memphis. His research is funded by grants from various sources, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, NASA, Department of Energy, ACS Petroleum Research Fund, Research Corporation, etc.
Rahul Mangal is presently an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at IIT Kanpur. He completed his PhD from Cornell University where he worked on understanding fundamental properties of Polymer Nanoparticle composites. Subsequently, he did his Post Doc at University of Wisconsin Madison where he worked on Active Janus Particles in Liquid Crystals. Presently, at IIT Kanpur his group is focusing on investigating the motion of Artificial micro-swimmers, which includes self-propelled Janus colloids and self-propelled emulsion droplets, in complex surroundings.
Kabir Ramola is an Assistant Professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad. Dr. Ramola’s research is focussed on how cooperative phenomena arise in interacting systems, both in and out of equilibrium. His group develops theoretical techniques to understand phenomena such as condensation in lattice gases, jamming and glassy behavior in athermal systems, and clustering and phase separation in locally driven systems. Some of the other topics they are interested in include: classical and quantum spin models, random walks, branching Brownian motion, extreme value statistics, localization problems, granular systems, dense suspensions, and models of active matter. Before joining TIFR-H in December 2018, Dr. Ramola worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Paris, France and Brandeis University, USA. He received his Ph. D. From TIFR in 2013.
Basudev Roy did his Integrated MSc in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and PhD from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata in 2015. He was an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the University of Tuebingen from 2015 to 2017. He joined IIT Madras as Assistant Professor in 2017. He was given the DBT-Wellcome Trust India Alliance Intermediate Fellowship in 2021.
Rajesh Singh is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai. His research interests are in the field of theoretical soft condensed matter physics. With this principal theme, he studies problems in statistical mechanics, fluid mechanics, computational physics, biophysics, and Bayesian statistics. He received his Ph.D. from The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, in 2018. Between 2018-21, he was a postdoc in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge. Rajesh joined the Department of Physics at IIT Madras in 2021.
Vani Vemparala has been a faculty member at The Institute of Mathematical Sciences since 2006. Her research interests include antimicrobial polymers, model cell membranes, protein dynamics and charged/neutral polymers.

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