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Sources: Amit Chakrabarti, 785-532-1625,;
and Kim Coy, 785-532-1612,
Photo available. Download at

Thursday, July 7, 2011


MANHATTAN -- An acclaimed theoretical physicist at Kansas State University has been appointed head of the department of physics.

Amit Chakrabarti, professor of physics, has served on the K-State faculty since 1990. He will also hold the William and Joan Porter Chair in Physics. Chakrabarti succeeds Dean Zollman, university distinguished professor of physics, who will begin phased retirement in August.

"I am very excited to be selected as the next department head of physics, a premier department at Kansas State University in terms of both research and teaching," Chakrabarti said. "I will strive to balance strong leadership with active management by working closely with physics faculty, staff and students. At the same time, I will constantly be in touch with our alumni and friends and ask for their advice and help in taking the department to a higher, distinguished level."

Chakrabarti's research focuses on theoretical physics with interests in soft matter and statistical physics.

He earned a bachelor's degree with honors in 1979. He completed a master's degree in 1982 from University of Calcutta and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota in 1987. He received the William L. Stamey Excellence in Teaching Award in 1992 and 2000, the Presidential Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching in 2002, and was honored with the K-State Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award in 2009.

Chakrabarti served as interim department head during 2006-2007. The experience inspired confidence in his colleagues.

"We are confident that the department will continue to enjoy strong leadership,” said Larry Weaver, professor of physics and search committee chair.