December 2010




Hi ASESMA people:

This month, I'm excited to introduce a new feature on our

website. Participants from ASESMA 2010 can now have their

own personal page on the site, to help build their web

presence. It's experimental, but I think it's got great

potential. Read more below.

Also included this month is information about the awesome

Open Courseware from MIT and a journal article about the

pitfalls of using DFT in the search for DMS's, presented

by one of our tutors, Tesfaye Abtew.

Happy holidays!

- Alison




1) Resource of the month: MIT open courseware

2) Career development: Establishing your presence on the web

3) How you can help us

4) Article of the month




Would you like to learn from some of the world's best

scientists? If so, check out the MIT Open Courseware site

( For those who aren't

familiar with American schools, MIT (Massachusetts

Institute of Technology) is one of the top American

universities for science and technology. On their Open

Courseware site, they publish course materials on hundreds

of subjects, ranging from biomedical ethics to string

theory. The course materials, which are all freely

available, include lecture notes, class assignments,

exams, and videos of lectures. It is an incredibly rich

resource free to anyone with an internet connection.

Some courses you may be interested in:

Introduction to Modeling and Simulation (Materials)

Atomistic Computer Modeling of Materials (co-taught by

Nicola Marzari!)

Sustainable Energy (Materials)

Theory of Solids (Physics)

Introduction to Computer Science and Programing




A strong presence on the world wide web will help you have

a successful scientific career. You will be "Googled" by

prospective employers, by university admission committees,

by conference audience members, and by potential

collaborators. It is therefore crucial that when someone

types your name into an internet search engine, they see

some evidence of your academic career and your

professional identity.

To this end, I'm introducing personal pages on the

Unofficial ASESMA Website. These will be linked under the

Names & Faces section and will provide a place for you to

build your professional identity.

For an example, see my page:

Note that I've linked to a number of my professional

affiliations, including a list of my publications. I've

also linked to my CV, which is hosted on the site.

On your personal page you will have complete editing

privileges and can include whatever you like. I'm also

happy to set it up for you or provide tech support and


Please contact me ( to get started on

your personal page.




If you have your own website, please help us boost our

Google ranking by adding a link to

This will help make our website an effective platform for

improving the web presence of the participants. We can

also place a link to your website on ours. Please contact

Alison for more information.




The quest for dilute ferromagnetism in semiconductors:

Guides and misguides by theory

Alex Zunger, Stephan Lany, and Hannes Raebiger (open access)


Theoretical methods have greatly influenced experiment in

search of the elusive marriage between semiconductor

electronics and magnetism, and the development of

spintronics. The path has not always been a straight one,

but realizing the limitations and strengths of theoretical

approaches promises a straighter course.

Contributed by Tesfay Abtew, who says: "In this paper the

authors discuss some of the issues and potential pitfalls

that can come with uncritical application of theoretical

methodology in predicting high Tc ferromagnetism and

unconventional magnetism. Furthermore, by analyzing the

physics of the artifact they suggest suggest specific ways

out of these dilemmas."

Please note that this article comes from the open-access

journal "Physics", a great source for overviews and

highlights of current research.



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