2016 SJTU Soft Matter Summer School

Brief Introduction

This summer school provides ten-day long introduction to the field of experiments, theories and simulations on soft-matter materials. Soft matters, including biomaterials, colloids and polymers, etc. are essential in our daily life. Understanding the structure, function and dynamics of soft matters as well as their interplay is crucial in the fields of biology, chemistry and material science, etc. Our program brings together experimentalists, modelers and theoreticians to illustrate the diverse approaches in this exciting field. The 2016 SJTU soft-matter summer school is sponsored by the SJTU Institute of Natural Sciences, the SJTU Zhiyuan College, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.


June 22 ~ July 1, 2016

Program Committee



Room 602, Pao Yue-Kong Library, Minhang Campus, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Application and Registration

No registration fee. Please register online. Apply Online


Mathematical Molecular Biology: a worked example

By Bob Eisenberg

Course time:


  1. What is special about Life? It is inherited.
  2. Electrical Signals in Nerve Cells: Some of Life can be Computed as a Physical System
  3. Nerve Cells at Rest: Electrical Properties and the Telegrapher’s Equation.
  4. Nerve Cells in Action: Ion Channels as Sources of Electrical Current
  5. Nerve Cells and their Action Potential Signal: Ion Channels as Amplifiers
  6. Physical Models of Ion Channels
  7. How to ask Biological Questions and get Physical Answers.


SJTU FIRST DAY Molecular Biology.pdf

SJTU SECOND DAY Maxwell and Law of Mass Action.pdf

SJTU THIRD DAY Stochastics PNP EnVarA PNPF.pdf

Theory and algorithms for electrostatic simulation

By A. C. Maggs

Course time:


  1. Intro, overview of major algorithms, FFT, interpolation, multipole
  2. Field theory formulations, collective variable methods
  3. Duality (potential <–>D), convex formulations in terms of electric fields
  4. Local algorithm for D, effective dynamics, link with maxwell equations
  5. Fluctuations, Casimir, evaluation via sparse matrix methods








Atomistic modeling in soft matter

By Franci Merzel

Course time:


  1. Introduction to computer simulations
  2. Quantum mechanical and classical level of theory
  3. Local properties of complex systems and experiments
  4. Advanced molecular dynamics and coarse graining approach
  5. Free energies and phase equilibria
  6. Statistical mechanics of fluids
  7. Water and hydration effects
  8. Biological macromolecules

Onsager’s variational principle and its applications

By Tiezheng Qian

Course time:


Based on the reciprocal relations for kinetic coefficients, Onsager’s variational principle is of fundamental importance to non-equilibrium statistical physics and thermodynamics in the linear response regime. For his discovery of the reciprocal relations, Lars Onsager was awarded the 1968 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The purpose of this Short Course is to present Onsager’s variational principle and its applications to first-year graduate students in physics and applied mathematics. The presentation consists of four units:

  1. Review of thermodynamics
  2. Onsager’s reciprocal symmetry for kinetic coefficients
  3. Onsager’s variational principle
  4. Applications:
    • Heat transport
    • Lorentz reciprocal theorem
    • Cross coupling in rarefied gas flows
    • Cross coupling in a mixture of fluids
    • The moving contact line problem in immiscible two-phase flows



Contact Us

Chenye Chang

Directions to INS