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 27th January 2015.
- My ongoing project has been to be Program (now Founding) Director for the 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 43 graduates and ~20 students on course as of January 2015, and are hoping to graduate
several more in May 2015; this is a satisfying increase from 2 students in 2008-09, the first time the degree
program was offered.
- This degree program has 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 took part in the
National PSM Association meeting in Atlanta.
in November 2014.
- Dr Jingyue (Jimmy) Liu is now the Program Director of this PSM degree program, so the future is in good hands;
but of course there is a huge amount of work to do, so I am still involved in several ways, not least by being in
charge of the Nanoscience web site and continuing to mentor students.
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 am experimenting with New Media(!) and in particular with LinkedIn. Despite real annoyances (anything that can be done by computer will be done...) I think LI is useful for keeping in touch with Alumni, as well as with colleagues who have moved on to new challenges. The tipping point for me was realising that graduates were getting nowhere with convential resumes, but as soon as they had a reasonable LI prescence, then the jobs started to be offered. The PSM degree in particular has a great employment pospects, and LI helps for most of them.
- 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.
From Spring 2012, this course has been taught by Dr Peter Bennett, and I have been 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. 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.
- 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.
There is still a lot of work to do on these nucleation and growth models, and I am currently seeing how they can be explained
to audiences that might otherwise think it is all magic, or not worth learning. The main point is that these methods are much faster
than other types of code, and have core physics underlying the approach: I'm optimistic that the methods are being appreciated!
- 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 most recently I have been giving (largely tutorial) talks on adsorption, nucleation and growth
topics, rather than writing papers. A list of recent papers, which include this and other collaborations, is given
here. A list of current talks is in preparation.
- The Gordon Research Conference on Thin Film and Crystal Growth Mechanisms, now called
Crystal Growth and Assembly was last held from July 7-12, 2013 at the University of New England, Biddeford, Maine.
I haven't attended recently, but I maintain the historical web pages, which you can consult for
further details. The next conference will be held from June28-July 3, 2015; see the
GRC web site for the latest details.