August 2010

August 19, 2010

Welcome to the web edition of our first monthly newsletter! This is a lightly edited version of the one sent out by email. Most importantly, I corrected the embarrassing spelling errors in my opening message. Next month I'll implement a spell checker!

If you'd like to be added to the email list and receive future newsletters in your in-box, please send me your email address using the contact form.


1) Introduction

2) ASESMA web activities

3) Featured journal article

4) Coming up next time

5) Closing message

Message from Alison

Hi Everyone!

Having inadvertently positioned myself as the information coordinator of the ASESMA 2010 post-workshop activities, I'd like to take advantage of the position to say hello. I really enjoyed meeting and working with everyone last month and am looking forward to continued involvement through email, the website, and Facebook.

If you have suggestions or comments for the website or newsletter, please don't hesitate to send them to me. If you'd like to remain anonymous you can use the comments form on the website.

I hope you enjoy these web-based ASESMA activities and that they can become a useful resource to you.


Alison Hatt

ASESMA Web Activities

Newsletter. On the third Thursday of every month we will send out a short newsletter, to help share information and stay in touch.

The format will be simple text, but you can find an html-formatted version here.

Unofficial Website. :: link ::

Originally started as a names & faces page, we're expanding the site to include other useful information. It is a work in progress, so

check back periodically to see what's new.

Discussion Forum. :: link ::

Hosted by Google Groups, the forum is intended for discussions about DFT, physics, and whatever else you find relevant. You need to have a Google account (free) and then add yourself as a member of the group in order to post messages. The mentors will check it regularly to help with technical questions, as if we were all back in the AIMS computer lab!

Facebook. :: link ::

For those of us who like social networking, we also have an ASESMA Facebook page. You don't need a Facebook account to view the page, but only members can post photos or comments.

Featured journal article

"Quantum computing with defects", J. R. Weber, W. F. Koehl, J. B. Varley, A. Janotti, B. B. Buckley, C. G. Van de Walle, and D. D.

Awschalom, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107, 8513 (2010). :: link ::

This article presents a nice example of using DFT to guide the design of functional materials. Through a series of DFT

calculations, the authors identify several material systems that meet their list of criteria for use as quantum-computing information

bits, or "qubit". They are developing the paradigm of using a bound nitrogen-vacancy defect state in diamond as a qubit, which is

currently one of the most promising approaches to building an actual quantum computer.

The article is open access, so no journal subscription is needed for the link above. You can also read a summary of it that I wrote for

the MRS Bulletin.

Coming up next time

Planned for next month's newsletter: expert advice on getting academic jobs overseas as an African researcher, and instructions

for accessing physics journals if your institution can't afford subscriptions.

Closing message from Richard Martin

"I want to express again the what I said at the end of the school. This was by far the best school I have ever been associated with,

and the reason was the enthusiasm of the participants and the desire to continue. I look forward to continuing working with you!"

-Richard Martin