CCNY Professor Sriram Ganeshan is Feliks Gross awardee for Oustanding Research

Dr. Sriram Ganeshan, assistant professor of physics in The City College of New York’s Division of Science is a recipient of the Feliks Gross Award for Outstanding Research for Assistant Professors in the City University of New York (CUNY).
Each awardee will present their research in a talk alongside other awardees, as part of the Feliks Gross and Henry Wasser lecture series, when the award will also be officially conferred. This will take place during the upcoming academic year 2024-25. The award is accompanied by a small stipend that will be transferred to CCNY to be distributed to Ganeshan, and an awards plaque that will be provided to him once he’s given his talk.
Ganeshan came to CCNY in Spring 2018 after three years at the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University. He studies condensed matter physics which he describes as, “The study of collective behavior within many degrees of freedom. For example, how a flock of birds move together as opposed to the movement of an individual entity.” Ganeshan explains that electrons behave in similar ways, their collective movement through a material, such as Graphene, mathematically resembles the movement of water in a pipe.
Although trained as a theoretical physicist, Ganeshan is interested in unlikely connections between elements on an astronomical/planetary scales and those occurring at the microscopic or atomic scale, underpinned by a common hydrodynamical framework.
Ganeshan’s most recent work connects the occurrence of Kelvin waves closely related to the El Niño event mathematically, and relating it to the study of quantum systems, where such equations arise again albeit constrained by the quantum rules.
“In quantum Hall systems, the physics happens at a micron scale. The equatorial Kelvin system happens at a planetary scale. So, the physical systems are totally disconnected, but the mathematical model is very similar,” he said. “It’s not like one explains the other, it’s like an analogy to help understand the mathematical language of both systems.”
One of Ganeshan’s goals is to make complex systems simpler to understand. “I like to write papers in a self-contained way so you don’t have to refer to 10 papers in order to understand the basic message,” he said.
In 2020, Ganesham received a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, which provided more than $500,000 for his research project: “Quantum Hydrodynamics: From Electron Fluids to Active Matter,” which could help develop new technologies based on the collective behavior of quantum systems.
Ganeshan teaches courses in mathematical methods for physicists from undergraduate to graduate level.
The Feliks Gross Endowment Awards are named after two of the CUNY Academy’s founding members, Feliks Gross and Henry Wasser. Every year awardees are selected from a large group of highly qualified, academically impressive assistant professors across CUNY campuses. The awards are partially supported by the Feliks Gross memorial fund and sponsored by the University Faculty Senate and the CUNY Office of Academic Affairs. The awards are named after two founders of the CUNY Academy for the Humanities and Sciences.

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Thea Klapwald