Alex Small's Web Page

Publications and Professional Information

My research group, summer 2012


Some of my research group (summer 2013).  From left:  Ted Yoo, me, Jonathan Tran, and Shane Stahlheber.

News 6/13/2018 I was elected a Fellow of the Optical Society of Southern California

News 10/24/2016 I have published a commentary article on curmudgeons in the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Easiest $300 I ever earned.

News 6/18/2016 I have an article on superresolution and percolation theory in the upcoming issue of Journal of the Optical Society of America-A.

News 10/13/2015 I have published a commentary article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, on geeky pursuits and their relation to academic committee work.

News 6/30/2014 We have published a paper in Journal of Statistical Mechanics.  It is about percolation on special lattices, and it has five student co-authors, including two community college students who worked with us in summer of 2013.

News 5/27/2014 I have published a commentary article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, suggesting that lecturing is not an unmitigated evil.

News 4/8/2014 We have had a review article published in Annual Review of Physical Chemistry.

News 2/27/2014 We have just had a review article published in Nature Methods.  Undergraduate student Shane Stahlheber was a co-author.

News 4/22/2013 We have just had a paper accepted in Journal of Statistical Mechanics.  It is an expanded version of this preprint.

News 6/28/2012 I have an invited article in the latest issue of Nature Methods.

News 6/2/2012 I have just been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.  I promise not to slack off...too much.

News 4/2/2012 Shane Stahlheber, an undergraduate student in the group, has been awarded a summer research scholarship from the Microscopy Society of America, to support him as he works on research with me.

News 9/1/2011  A paper titled "Model of bleaching and acquisition for superresolution microscopy controlled by a single wavelength" has been accepted at Biomedical Optics Express.  I will post a .pdf when the final version is published.

News 7/10/2011  I have been elected to the Board of Directors of the Optical Society of Southern California (OSSC) as a Councilor.  In addition, I will be the Programs Chair for 2011-2012.  The OSSC is an organization of optics professionals, mostly from industry but some from academia, who meet monthly (usually the second Wednesday of the month) from October to June.  If you are interested in careers in optics specifically, or a physics or engineering student who wants to learn things about industry that your professors can't teach you, I strongly urge you to attend OSSC meetings.

News 4/30/2010  We have received a $14,936 grant from the California State Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) to work on algorithms for analyzing subdiffraction microscopy images!

News 12/17/2009 Forrest Hippensteel, an undergraduate in my research group, will be giving an invited presentation at the Biological Fluorescence Subgroup Meeting at the 2010 Biophysical Society Meeting in San Francisco this February.

News 9/1/2009:  A recording of a public lecture that I gave at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics is available here.

News 5/18/2009:  The Cal Poly Pomona Physics Department was profiled in the American Physical Society's Biological Physics Newsletter.  Newsletter here. (.pdf) 

News 12/15/2008:  I have been appointed as a KITP Scholar by the Kavli Insitute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara!  I will be spending a few weeks a year at KITP conducting research and attending workshops.

I am an Associate Professor of Physics at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California. Previously, I was a postdoctoral research fellow in theoretical biophysics at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. (That's just outside DC.) I received my Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara in 2005, working under Professor David Pine.

My research interests are mostly focused on the theory of optical imaging beyond the diffraction limit.  The basic question I ask is, with the diffraction limit overcome, what theoretical limit(s) will replace it?  I have additional projects in light scattering and percolation theory. I also have an interest in the mathematics of voting systems, particularly topics related to the Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem. Although I primarily do theory I have greatly enjoyed collaborating with experimentalists, and I spent much of graduate school trying to do experiments. I didn't get a lot done in those experiments, but I learned a lot of science.

Contact Info:

Prof. Alex Small

Department of Physics

Cal Poly Pomona

3801 West Temple Avenue

Pomona, CA 91768


arsmall (at) cpp (dot) edu