By Matthew Wright

I am very excited to introduce our newest Assistant Professor in the physics department, Professor Kevin Liang. Liang comes to us from the University of Rochester, where he was working as a postdoc. He also obtained his PhD from the University of Rochester in 2019.

Liang comes to Adelphi as a theorist who specializes in mathematical optics. You can check out one of his latest papers: “Coherence effects on estimating general sub-Rayleigh object distribution moments,” which came out earlier this year in Physical Review A (my personal favorite physics journal).  In his young career, he already has 10 exciting first-author papers.

Liang has already started to build his research group at Adelphi University. The focus of his research will be in mathematical models for tolerancing mid-spatial frequencies on free-form optical surfaces, singular optics and quantum random walks with stress-engineered optics, and super resolution using quantum-inspired modal decomposition techniques. Basically, he is a super smart guy who mathematically analyzes optical situations to find ways to make existing optics better or make new kinds of optics that take advantage of quantum mechanics and other interesting physics. He will fit nicely into our optics-friendly physics department.

He has hit the ground running in the classroom. This past semester, Liang taught two of our best classes, Physics for Science Majors I and Mathematical Methods for Physicists and Engineers. He has definitely made a splash with the students. One student commented that Liang’s office hours are the best! Another student said, “Professor Liang is relatable, young and growing to be a stronger part of our physics department every day, but most importantly, he instills a love of learning in an otherwise daunting subject.”

Sophomore physics major Kyle Cash’s comment about Liang shows he is keeping with the Adelphi physics department tradition: “A caring teacher who pushes the students to be their very best.” Zahin Ritee said, “Professor Liang is one of the best professors! He is super knowledgeable. If I ask him questions from other classes, he knows the answers and helps me. He is always willing to help. He even called us on his [lunch] time to help with some questions we had. He makes class enjoyable. Besides learning super hard [math], we also hear funny jokes from him and laugh. He also asks about my mental health and my life outside college. He shares his too, which makes me feel closer and cared for. I am so thankful to have [him] as a professor! The number of students in his office hours indicates that he rocks there too!”

I am personally excited to have the opportunity to work with Liang. His addition to the department will strengthen multiple fronts we deeply care about. Obviously optics, but also in computational science.  He has wonderful ideas on how we can adapt computational tools into our classrooms. I am looking forward to learning from him and mentoring him as his career jumps off. As I am sure you can imagine, there will be much more to come…

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