John Venables' Current Projects
This file contains an informal list of what John Venables is
up to, professionally that is. The people mentioned by name have had a
copy of this document.
Latest update 14th July 2012.
- My most important current project over the last few years has been to be Program Director for the new Professional
Science Masters (PSM) in Nanoscience degree program at ASU. This program can be explored
via the PSM in Nanoscience homepage,
or via my FAQ pages on this site. Currently, we
have 15 graduates and 15 students on course at the end of the 2011-12 Academic year, and are hoping to graduate
several more in the next month; this is a satisfying increase from 2 students in 2008-09, the first time the degree
program was offered. It has already received considerable outside recognition, and I enjoyed attending the
National PSM conference in November 2009, and the
Council of Graduate Schools Annual meeting in December 2011. Most recently, I am working with Dr Jingyue (Jimmy) Liu as
he starts to take the lead with this PSM degree program, so the future is in good hands. Publicity is of course an
ongoing issue, so if any of you out there are interested, or know of potential students, do get in touch..!
PSM programs are well-known to spread by word of mouth.
- I had been teaching Surfaces and Thin Films
as a web-based course at ASU, over the past several years most recently in Spring 2011.
This course is now being further developed in the context of the PSM in Nanoscience, with
the involvement of several "guest" lecturers. In Spring 2012, this course was
taught by Dr Peter Bennett, and I was a guest lecturer for him rather than the other way around.
My graduate teaching text
Introduction to Surface and Thin Film Processes was developed primarily from
these lectures. This book
is open to the web, both via an appendix containing
Web based resources and section by section updates.
Both resources can be used with this text and/or the
- Over several years I taught a one-semester graduate
Quantum Physics class
at ASU, which also has a web-based component, though optional in this case. This course is
now being given by Dmitry Matyushov, but the pages are being kept up as a resource, since
Google says they are widely used. My Sussex course on
Quantum Mechanical Models of Solids,
was developed in collaboration with Edward Hernández and Malcolm Heggie. It has been given
several times, with help from Malcolm's post-docs and senior students, most recently Irene
Suarez-Martinez. This material is being kept up on my ASU site as a
resource that I (and maybe others)
refer to in their current courses.
- I am contributing to some collaborations involving nucleation and
growth studies, based on the models developed over the years.
These are built around (relatively simple) programs which enable island
densities, etc to be interpreted. Most recently, I have been exploring the use of
efficient Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) and Master Equation Discretization (MED)
techniques for solving 2-dimensional diffusion equations, in visual models of
epitaxial growth that complement rate equations.
- I am pleased to have been welcomed into the London Centre for Nanotechnology at University College
London (LCN-UCL) as an honorary Visiting Professor, and collaborations on the above
topics are developing. A list of recent papers, which include this and other collaborations, is given
- There is still a lot of work to do on these nucleation and growth models,
and I am currently seeing how they can be extended to situations relevant to the
hot topics of pattern formation and nanofabrication. In parallel, I have learned some 'newer'
programming languages, and have got hooked on MatLab! The idea is to get
some material which is more user-friendly, amenable to student projects, and in
some cases more compatible with web-based presentation of results.
- The Gordon Research Conference on
Thin Film and Crystal Growth Mechanisms was last held from July 17-22, 2011 at
Colby Sawyer College, New London, New Hampshire. I currently maintain the historical
web pages, which you
can consult for further details. The next conference will be held from July 7-12, 2013; see the GRC web site for the latest details.