Fall 2014

The Skoltech Colloquium is administered by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty and is coordinated by Alesya Garifullina – a.garifullina@skoltech.ru.

It takes place every Thursday at 4pm during term times in the The Hypercube building (Skolkovo Innovation Center).

If you like to participate, please contact Alesya

When: September 11



Prof.Sergey V. Ketov. Tokyo Metropolitan University and the Kavli Institute for Physics . Our guest speaker at the Skoltech ColloquiumWhen: September 18

Guest speaker:Prof. Dr. Sergey V. Ketov.  Tokyo Metropolitan University and the Kavli Institute for Physics

What: High Energy Physics from Early Universe to Modern Colliders.

Where:  Moscow School oh Management, Beijing-1 Auditorium – China cluster

Abstract:   In my talk, designed for general audience, I am going to outline some recent achievements in the high-energy physics, through my personal way and30 years of working experience in several countries, by using a variety ofmedia, such as web, pictures, movies, computer simulations and animation.


Demetris Zeinalipour, University of Cyprus

When: October 2

 Guest speaker: Demetris Zeinalipour, University of Cyprus. He (PhD, University of California, Riverside, 2005) is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Cyprus, directing the Data Management Systems Laboratory (DMSL). Before his current appointment, he served the University of Cyprus and the Open University of Cyprus as a Lecturer of Computer Science and was also a Visiting Researcher at the network intelligence lab of Akamai Technologies, Cambridge, USA. Demetris has served as the PC Co-Chair of IEEE MDM’10, VLDB’s DMSN’10 and ACM MobiDE’09, the General Chair for ACM MobiDE’10, the Contest Chair of IEEE ICDM’10, the Organization Chair of HDMS’10, the Demo Co-Chair for IEEE MDM’13 and the Panel Co-Chair for IEEE MDM’14. Currently, he serves as the Workshops Co-Chair for IEEE MDM’15.  His primary research interests include Data Management in Systems and Networks, in particular Distributed Query Processing, Storage and Retrieval Methods for Sensor, Smartphone and Peer-to-Peer Systems, Mobile and Network Data Management, Energy-aware Data Management and more recently Big & Crowd Data Management. He is a member of ACM, IEEE and USENIX.

What: Indoor data management: status and challenges

Where:  Moscow School oh Management, Beijing-1 Auditorium – China cluster

Abstract:  People spend 80-90% of their time in indoor environments such as offices, undergrounds, shopping malls and airports. On the other hand, the uptake of interesting applications in indoor spaces (e.g., navigation, inventory management and elderly support) has so far been hampered by the lack of technologies that can provide indoor location

(position) accurately, in real time, in an energy-efficient manner, and without expensive additional hardware. Modern smartphones currently rely on cloud-based Indoor Positioning Services (IPS), which can provide the location of a user upon request but those are inaccurate and additionally raise important location privacy concerns, as the IPS can know where the user is at all times.

In this talk, I will start out with an overview of the building blocks of Anyplace, our in-house IPS that recently won several international research awards for its accuracy (i.e., less than 2 meters) and utility.

Anyplace deploys a number of innovative concepts, including crowdsourcing, big-data management, energy-aware processing, multi-device optimization, and mobile data management, in order to realize a power-efficient and accurate indoor localization and navigation technology. In the second part of this talk, I will focus on an algorithm we developed for protecting users from location tracking by the IPS, without hindering the provisioning of fine-grained location updates on a continuous basis. Our algorithm exploits a k-Anonymity Bloom filter and a generator of camouflaged localization requests, both of which are shown to be resilient to a variety of privacy attacks. My talk will be succeeded by a summary of related research efforts, namely SmartLab, which is a novel in-house programming cluster of smartphones that we use in our experimental studies; and Rayzit, which is an award-winning location-based crowd messaging service that addresses big-data velocity with parallel algorithms and distributed NoSQL databases.

Video: http://youtu.be/m1n6_kootJk

Professor Alexey R. Khokhlov. Vice-Rector of Moscow State University. Full Professor, Head of the Chair of Polymer and Crystal Physics, Physics Department, Moscow State University.

Professor Alexey R. Khokhlov. Vice-Rector of Moscow State University. Full Professor, Head of the Chair of Polymer and Crystal Physics, Physics Department, Moscow State University.

When: Otober 16

Guest speaker: Professor Alexey R. Khokhlov. Vice-Rector of Moscow State University. Full Professor, Head of the Chair of Polymer and Crystal Physics, Physics Department, Moscow State University.

Professor Alexey R. Khokhlov is an internationally recognized scientist known for his outstanding contributions to various branches of polymer science, such as theory of polyelectrolytes and polymer liquid crystals, physical chemistry of polymer gels and associating polymers, computer simulations of polymer systems.

Research Interests
Polymer science, statistical physics of macromolecules, physical chemistry of polyelectrolytes and ionomers, microphase separation in polymer systems, polymer liquid crystals, polyelectrolyte responsive gels, topological restrictions in polymer systems, dynamics of concentrated polymer solutions and melts, coil-globule transitions, associating polymers, computer simulation of polymer systems, biomimetic polymers, proton-conducting polymer membranes.

What: Polymers in the “Nano” Context.

Where: Hypercube, 4th floor

Abstract: I will speak about molecular organization of polymer macromolecules at the scales from 1 to 100 nm. This molecular organization dictates the properties of many polymer systems from polymer nanocomposites to the self-organized macromolecular structures in the living cells. The latter structures determine the molecular origin of life, resulting in the functional systems which work much more precisely and robustly than any man-made mechanisms. Hence the biomimetic approach to polymers is very promising, and in my lecture I will describe several examples of the so-called “smart” systems that were designed using this approach.

Video: http://youtu.be/ack0b0JBXxY 

143When: Otober 23

Guest Speaker: Dr. Stanislav Polonsky has 15 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, including electrical test, failure analysis, digital and analog circuit design, and CAD tools development. During the last 7 years he was actively working on extending mainstream silicon technology with nanopores and nanofluidics.

2014-present: Director of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, Russia.

1998-2014: Research Staff Member at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, USA.

1993-1993: Research Scientist at State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA.

1993: PH.D. in Device Physics, Moscow State University, Russia

What: Extending CMOS with Nanofluidics

Where: Moscow School oh Management, Beijing-1 Auditorium – China cluster

Abstract: Extending mainstream Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) microelectronic technology with new capabilities becomes an important trend as semiconductor device scaling nears its end. Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), spintronics (e.g. magnetic tunnel junctions), and silicon photonics are well-known examples of such extensions. There is an increasing interest from semiconductor companies to apply their core micro- and nanofabrication capabilities to nanobiotechnology, a good example being extending CMOS with a capability to manipulate and sense biomolecules. Continuous progress in this area will lead to point-of-care, home-use, and wearable medical devices, which will revolutionize the medicine and improve our health. In this lecture I am reviewing IBM’s progress in single molecule sensing and manipulation using solid-state nanodevices, emphasizing their compatibility with CMOS:

  1. DNA Transistor is a nanopore drilled through a stack of multiple electrically addressable metal electrodes and dielectric layers. I start with a theoretical description of the device, supported by all-atom molecular dynamics simulations. I describe our experimental effort and show that the device is electrically viable when the electrodes are separated by dielectric as thin as few nm. Organic coating inside the pore protects metal from erosion and prevents the sticking of DNA to the surface. I present data on DNA translocations and discuss some of the potential stumbling blocks of the DNA transistor design, as well as possible ways to overcome these difficulties.
  2. CMOS-compatible nanochannels for stretching and translocating single DNA molecules. Similar to MEMS devices, sacrificial silicon nano-structures are etched with XeF2 to form nanochannels. Translocations of linearized DNA single molecules are imaged by fluorescence microscopy. Our method offers a manufacturable wafer-scale approach for CMOS-compatible biochip platforms and can immediately be applied to boost the throughput of next generation sequencing instruments.

III. Transient nanogap between two fluidic reservoirs allows stretching and manipulating a single DNA molecule. The operation of the device is based on the solvation energy change when an ion moves from water to air. Our experiment uses a nanopositioner to control the coupling of a nanopipette with the liquid surface. I present results on creating a transient nanogap, triggered by a translocation of double-stranded DNA, and measuring the probability to find the molecule near the tip of the nanopipette after closing the gap.

Video: http://youtu.be/njZYp5Btu28

When: Otober 30

Dr. Dmitry Kazantsev, guest speaker at the Skoltech Colloquium

Dr. Dmitry Kazantsev, guest speaker at the Skoltech ColloquiumWhen: Otober 30

Guest Speaker: Dr. Dmitry Kazantsev. Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, Moscow (permanent position). Fraunhofer IISB, Erlangen (DFG project co-leader).


Where: Hypercube, 4th floor

Abstract: Principles of operation and technical solutions of an Apertureless Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscope (ASNOM) will be presented. An elongated AFM-like tip acting as a dipole rod antenna, provides an efficient coupling of the external electromagnetic waves to the local fields located in the gap between the sample surface and the very tip. The excited oscillations of a tip dipole momentum can also be efficiently emitted by the tip into an environmental space, focussed by a conventional optical elements (mirrors, lenses) and then acquired by a conventional photodetector. It will be shown that the signal collected by an ASNOM is mainly proportional to a complex amplitude of a local electromagnetic field at the tip position and to some expression of a local surface dielectric function. A lateral resolution of an ASNOM is determnined by the tip radius (1-20nm), regardless to the working wavelength (from visible light to at least 10um).

The home-built ASNOM scanning head as well as electronics designed specially for an ASNOM operation will be considered in details.
A mapping of a surface dielectric constant (as a complex number) on the semiconductor samples (Si, Ge, SiC) will be reported. It will be shown that the ASNOM image contrast is enough not only to distinguish different materials, but even to show the doping distribution within the same media.
A mapping of a local field in the running surface phonon polariton wave excited on the surface of SiC polar crystal by a resonant external light (~10.6um) will be reported. A good quantitative agreement of simulations to the measured distribution of an ASNOM signal demonstrates that the signal acquired by an ASNOM is in fact a complex value (with its amplitude and phase) of a local electromagnetic field at the tip position. Surface optics phenomena (focussing, refraction, waveguiding) observed with an ASNOM on the SiC samples will be reported.

Video: http://youtu.be/DTn4bYELUbs  

  UntitledWhen: November 6

Speaker:  Philipp Khaitovich, born in Moscow, Russia in 1973. Completed undergraduate studies at Moscow State University in 1995 and PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1999. From 2000 till 2006, worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology at the department of Evolutionary Genetics headed by Prof. Svante Pääbo. In September 2006, he took a faculty position at the Institute for Computational Biology jointly established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Max Planck Society in Shanghai, China and in 2012 became an institute director. In 2014, Philipp joined Skoltech as a professor in BioMed section

What: Molecular features of human evolution

Where: Hypercube, 4th floor

Abstract: Human evolution has resulted in a species that possesses an apparently unique set of phenotypic capabilities. In our laboratory, we search for molecular features specific to humans, through integrative analysis of genetic, transcriptomic and metabolomic data measured in modern and archaic humans, as well as closely related mammalian species: chimpanzees, macaques and mice. Here, I will recent insights into uniquely human features of brain development and brain organization, as well as a hidden link between brain and muscle evolution.

Video: http://youtu.be/xp2i1CKnD9k

photo_mueller_swWhen: November 13

Guest Speaker: Prof. Thomas Mueller, Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Photonics. 

What: Optoelectronics with 2D semiconductors.

Where: Hypercube, 4th floor

Abstract: Two-dimensional (2D) atomic crystals, such as graphene and layered transition-metal dichalcogenides, are currently receiving a lot of attention for applications in (opto-)electronics. In this talk I will review our research activities on photovoltaic energy conversion and photodetection in 2D semiconductors. In particular, I will present a WSe2 monolayer p-n junction [1], formed by electrostatic doping using a pair of split gate electrodes, and a MoS2/WSe2 van der Waals type-II heterojunction [2]. Upon optical illumination, conversion of light into electrical energy occurs in both devices. I will present measurements of the electrical characteristics, the photovoltaic properties, and the gate voltage dependence of the photoresponse. In the second part of my talk, I will discuss photoconductivity studies of MoS2 field-effect transistors [3]. We identify photovoltaic and photoconductive effects, which both show strong photoconductive gain. A model will be presented that reproduces our experimental findings, such as the dependence on optical power and gate voltage. We envision that the efficient photon conversion, combined with the advantages of 2D semiconductors, such as flexibility, high mechanical stability and low costs of production, could lead to new optoelectronic technologies.

Video: http://youtu.be/7TQMPcN-cbA

When: November 20

Prof Walter Kolch guest sepaler at the Skoltech Colloquium is the director of Systems Biology, Ireland and the Conway Institute at University College, Dublin (Ireland).

Prof Walter Kolch guest sepaler at the Skoltech Colloquium is the director of Systems Biology, Ireland and the Conway Institute at University College, Dublin (Ireland).When: November 20, 4:30pm

Guest Speaker: Prof Walter Kolch is Director of Systems Biology Ireland and the Conway Institute at University College Dublin (Ireland). He is best known for his work in oncogene signal transduction, proteomics and systems biology. Having obtained a MD from the University of Vienna, Austria, he worked in academia, research institutions and pharmaceutical industry in the USA, Germany, Great Britain and Ireland. His current research interest focuses on understanding how biochemical networks specify biological decisions, and how these properties can be exploited for improving the diagnosis and therapy of cancer. Having published >220 papers (H factor 72) he has a broad scientific scope and vast experience in leading large interdisciplinary projects. He currently coordinates tow large FP7 EU grants, ASSET and PRIMES, focusing on improving therapies for childhood and colorectal cancer, respectively. Before moving to Dublin in 2009 to set up Systems Biology Ireland he was the lead investigator in two large interdisciplinary UK projects: the IRColl RASOR, a major multi-disciplinary, four-University consortium with the remit to develop innovative proteomics technologies; and the Molecular Nose, a project developing array based and spectroscopic sensor technologies for the systematic mapping of signalling networks in mammalian cells. He serves on several editorial boards and international scientific advisory boards. He was a Director of the Caledonian Research Foundation (2007-2010), President of the British Society for Proteome Research, (2007-10), and was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2006.

What: “Can computers beat cancer? Lessons learned from the computational modelling of signal transduction pathways.”

Where: Hypercube, 7th floor

Video: http://youtu.be/h7XuWLjdF6w

 1779237_10101286723457671_599824020_nWhen: December  4 

Guest Speaker:  Daniel L. Jafferis, Assistant Professor of Phisics, Harvard University Department of Physics

What: “Gauge theory, string theory and quantum gravity”.

Abstract: Two of the biggest questions in fundamental physics are the nature of the quantum theory of gravity, and the behavior of systems that are strongly interacting. The former appears as the natural endpoint of the search for the most basic principles of nature describing even the shortest distance scales. The latter applies to many systems which exhibit interesting emergent phenomena. I will explain these topics and their surprising connection through dualities and string theory.

Where: Hypercube, 7th floor

When: December  11

What: Open-source infrastructure for Big Data Kostas

Guest Speaker: Kostas Tzoumas, Technical University of Berlin

Where: Hypercube, 7th floor

Abstract: Major parts of the enterprise data processing infrastructure stack are currently being re-designed and re-implemented in open source. A big chunk of this software is developed in the Apache community in projects such as Apache Hadoop. In this talk, I will give my personal view of the new requirements that gave birth to this new stack, I will give an overview of some technologies in the Hadoop space and their evolution, and I will focus on Apache Flink (http://flink.incubator.apache.org), a new project in the Apache community that develops a reliable, fast, and easy to use data processing engine.

When: December  18

What: Quantum Dots – Artificial Atoms, Large Molecules or Small Pieces of Bulk?  Insights from Time-Domain Ab Initio Studies

Guest spesker: Oleg Prezhdo, University of Southern CaliforniaDSC_4265_1 -`12`12`12

Where: Hypercube, 7th floor

Abstract: Quantum dots (QD) are quasi-zero dimensional structures with a unique combination of solid-state and atom-like properties. Unlike bulk or molecular materials, QD properties can be modified continuously by changing QD shape and size. Often, the bulk and molecular viewpoints contradict each other. The molecular view suggests strong electron-hole and charge-phonon interactions, and slow energy relaxation due to mismatch between electronic energy gaps and phonon frequencies. The bulk view advocates that the kinetic energy of quantum confinement is greater than electron-hole interactions, that charge-phonon coupling is weak, and that the relaxation through quasi-continuous bands is rapid. QDs exhibit new physical phenomena. The phonon bottleneck to electron energy relaxation and generation of multiple excitons can improve efficiencies of solar energy devices. The enhanced electron-hole interactions and high densities of states lead to a new electron transfer mechanism, Auger-assisted transfer, which eliminates the celebrated Marcus inverted regime and ensures consistently rapid charge separation. The observed QD properties are complicated by presence of ligands, dopants, defects and other chemical features. Our state-of-the-art non-adiabatic molecular dynamics techniques, implemented within time-dependent density-functional-theory, allow us to model QDs at the atomistic level and in time-domain, providing a unifying description of quantum dynamics on the nanoscale.