Cyrill Slezak

Department of Physics
Utah Valley University
Orem, UT 84058

E-mail: CSlezak at

I have designed this web page to serve a dual purpose. It is intended to serve visitors with information regarding my work and person alike. Hopefully you will find all the information you are looking for but please, don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

I'm currently in the physics department at Utah Valley University after leaving Hillsdale College in early 2012. Previous to my appointment here I served as a visiting professor at the University of Cincinnati in physics Education. My thesis adviser is Prof. Mark Jarrell and the majority of my work was done in collaboration with Dr. Thomas Maier at Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL).

Research - My previous research has been in the area of strongly correlated electron systems; a field of study that considers the microscopic properties of matter. Experimental science continually reveals new materials with novel properties, and mirroring their effort, we strive to provide theoretical counterparts to further our understanding. Of particular interest are strongly correlated electron systems which exhibit intriguing behaviors, such as super conductivity, spin-charge separation, and various magnetic properties. In general, theoretical models describing these systems are not analytically solvable. It is therefore necessary that we establish and use computational techniques to further our understanding of such systems. The main emphasize of my work is the treatment of one-dimensional systems using various many-body techniques. Most recently my work has been centered on developing a new multi-scale approach which will incorporate both long and short scale physics alike thereby providing a fuller picture of the underlying physics involved. Other research during my graduate studies involved the investigation of spectral properties in electron-phonon coupled systems and the development of a semi-analytical solution of the Kondo model in a magnetic field.

Physics Education - Besides my ongoing research in computational physics, I have been active in in physics education research. In recent years, there has been a surge in education research within the physics society. Pivotal works have decisively shown that by adhering to traditional lecture and recitation styles, we don't fully provide our students with the learning opportunities they seek. For many students the core physics curriculum, whether it is for majors or not, poses a significant hurdle in their academic development. Often these students are able to complete the mathematical steps in solving a problem, yet remain completely inept in answering simple conceptual questions. Various alternative methods, such as cooperative or inquiry based learning materials, have been introduced in physics programs, and evidence indicates a substantial improvement in students' learning. During the years of my graduate education I've had various opportunities to be actively involved in various styles of teaching. Having been exposed to both the traditional physics instruction as well as various evolving new schools of though such as inquiry based instruction I have begun to see the evolving opportunities for society in this field.

Computational Physics - The computational sciences are a rapidly growing area, providing new opportunities for interdisciplinary teaching and research. The recent adaptation of the computational method by the American Physical Society as a co-equal third branch in physics alongside experiment and theory will undoubtedly be reflected in future physics curricula. The interdisciplinary nature of this fascinating emerging field is reflected in its applicability beyond the traditional sciences but is found in the arts and humanities as well. The emerging multi-faceted research projects within various departments provide both a challenges and opportunities for the computational physicist. I believe we are ideally positioned within the physics community to provide innovation and guidance to other areas in the research community.

- Cyrill Slezak, Utah Valley University, Physics