Theja DeSilva

Assistant Professor

Theja DeSilva

Assistant Professor

Academic Appointment(s)

College of Science and Mathematics
Department of Chemistry and Physics

Education

  • Ph.D., Physics, General. University of Cincinnati, 2004

Awards & Honors

  • ITAMP Visiting Scientist Award: 2017 Institute for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, Harvard University, 2017

  • KITP Scholar Award: 2017 Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics, 2017

  • KITP Scholar Award:2016 Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics, 2016

  • McMicken College Outstanding Doctoral Student Award McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, University of Cincinnati, 2005

Courses Taught Most Recent Academic Year

  • PHYS 1111L

    Intro to Physics I Lab
  • PHYS 3250

    Theoretical Mechanics
  • PHYS 1111

    Introductory Physics I
  • PHYS 3990

    Undergraduate Research

Teaching Interests

I have strong commitment to my teaching. As much as possible, I go beyond conventional teaching by employing interactive engagement strategies in all my classes. I use corporative learning methods and integrated technology. My approach to teaching is based on the Socratic Method. Through this technique I create a sense of wonder in a student’s mind by making him or her realize what they already know. Although lecturing plays an important role in teaching physics, one cannot produce this sense of wonder by lecturing. Instead one must set up a dialogue where the student is actively engaged. Instead of answering a student’s question, sometimes I pose a counter-question, which helps them to find the answer to the question all by themselves. This empowers the students leading them to say— “Wow! I knew that!” Students eventually learn how to go through this process on their own and become self-directed learners.

Scholarship

Selected Recent Publications

  • Metal-Insulator-Superconductor transition of spin-3/2 atoms on optical lattices, 2018
    Journal Article, Academic Journal
  • An effective series expansion to the equation of state of unitary Fermi gases, 2016
    Journal Article, Academic Journal
  • An effective mean field theory for the coexistence of anti-ferromagnetism and superconductivity: Applications to iron-based superconductors and cold Bose–Fermi atomic mixtures, 2016
    Journal Article, Academic Journal
  • Phase diagram of strongly attractive p-orbital fermions on optical lattices, 2015
    Journal Article, Academic Journal
  • "Polarization Induced Phase separation and Re-entrant Transition of Two- component Fermions in One-dimensional Lattice”, 2015
    Journal Article, Academic Journal

Research Interests

I am a theorist and seeking to gain an understanding of the physics on the scale of single atoms/electrons, where classical mechanics fails. Collection of strongly interacting particles, such as electrons in solids and atoms trapped in a vacuum show various emergent and collective phenomena by losing their individual identities. Sometimes, particle systems form bizarre quantum states by breaking up the original particles into new particles. I want to understand how these complex phenomena emerge from simple ingredients. In broad sense, I am a condensed matter theorist who is working on many-body quantum systems.

Department Service

  • student recruitment, retention, and advising. 2014 - Present

    Role: Student Placement
  • Search Committee Member 2015 - 2015

    Role: Committee Member

College Service

  • Instructional Technology Advisory Committee 2015 - Present

    Role: Committee Member
  • Search Committee Member: dean COSM 2014 - 2014

    Role: Committee Member

University Service

  • Department Champion: College of Science and Mathematics, IGRU Campaign 2015 - Present

    Role: Committee Member
  • Graduate Council Representative: COSM 2014 - Present

    Role: Committee Member

Professional Service

  • APS March Meeting, Session B12 - 2012

    Role: Chairperson
  • NSF day workshop - 2009

    Role: Other
  • APS Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics - 2008

    Role: Other
  • APS March Meeting, Session Q14 - 2008

    Role: Chairperson
  • APS Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics - 2008

    Role: Other