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About the author

About the author

My name is Leonid Shifrin. Until very recently, I worked in the field of Theoretical Physics. I defended my PhD in 2006. As an undergraduate, I majored in Astrophysics, but my undergraduate research was in theoretical Quantum Optics. My PhD was in Quantum Field Theory, and my recent scientific interests include Quantum Field Theory and Random Matrices.

I have been using Mathematica for my projects for a number of years, in various areas of theoretical and mathematical physics such as Quantum Optics, Quantum Field Theory and applications of Random Matrix Theory to Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD).

For more formal details about me, you can find my CV here, and my list of publications is shown on this page below.

Current interests

These are, in no particular order, topics of current interest to me: Mathematica programming, general programming and computer science (esp. algorithms and compilers), Linux, algorithmic graph theory, scripting languages (Perl/Python/Ruby), functional programming languages (LISP/Scheme, ML/Ocaml), data mining, web technologies. In most of these areas I am a (complete) novice, having only researched and invested in the necessary literature. But I hope to become better soon :)

I am excited by the possibilities offered by Mathematica and its programming language. In Mathematica programming, I am more interested in extending the core language and exploring ways in which one can combine efficiency of general algorithms implemented in Mathematica generic built-in functions, with the power of functional and rule-based programming. I am particularly interested in more advanced techniques such as lexical closures, dynamic programming/memoization, run-time code generation (LISP-like macros etc), and others related to introspection and meta-programming. I am also interested in new dynamic interface construction capabilities of Mathematica.

Programming skills

Apart from the Mathematica skills, I consider myself a reasonably competent C programmer (about 20-25 kloc), have some Basic, Pascal, Fortran and Matlab under my belt from the older times, also Java and C++, and Python to a little lesser extent. Of these languages, I admire C, Python and Mathematica the most in terms of purity (language design), but I also much appreciate the scope and power of Java when used with modern IDEs and new open-source Java - based technologies.

Most of my programming background which is relevant today is relatively recent. I used C++ and Java for several projects.I started with Mathematica (programming) as a hobby, then got more serious. At some point I felt stuck in my current programming mindset and learned C. My Mathematica code has certainly improved after that.



7. G. Akemann, M.J. Phillips, E.Bittner and L. Shifrin, in preparation.

6. G. Akemann, M.J. Phillips, L. Shifrin "Gap Probabilities in Non-Hermitian Random Matrix Theory",
e-Print: arXiv:0901.0897 [math-ph], Submitted to Journal of Mathematical Physics.

5. G. Akemann, Jacques C.R. Bloch, L. Shifrin, T. Wettig, "Individual complex Dirac eigenvalue distributions from random matrix theory and lattice QCD at nonzero chemical potential.",
Phys.Rev.Lett.100:032002,2008 e-Print: arXiv:0710.2865 [hep-lat]

4. G.Akemann, L.Shifrin "A generalization of the Dyson's Integration Theorem for Determinants",
J.Phys.A40:F785-F792,2007 e-Print: ArXiv:0705.2555 [math-ph]

3. L.Shifrin, J.J.M.Verbaarschot "Sum rules for the Dirac spectrum of the Schwinger Model",
Phys.Rev.D 73:074008, 2006 [hep-th/0507220]

2. Mazets I.E., Shifrin L.B. "Theory of laser beam propagation through a vapor cell in the collision-free optical pumping regime"
Optics Communications 175 (1-3): 227-231, 2000

1. Mazets I.E., Shifrin L.B. "Non-exponential decay of an atomic excited state in the presence of Bose-Einstein condensate"
Phys. Lett. A 229 (2): 73-76 ,1997

Conference proceedings

2. G. Akemann, Jacques C.R. Bloch, L. Shifrin, T. Wettig, "Distributions of individual Dirac eigenvalues for QCD at non-zero chemical potential: RMT predictions and lattice results.",
Talk given at 25th International Symposium on Lattice Field Theory, Regensburg, Germany, 30 Jul - 4 Aug 2007. Published in PoS LAT2007:224,2007. e-Print: arXiv:0711.0629 [hep-lat]

1. L. Shifrin, J.J.M. Verbaarschot, "Leutwyler-Smilga sum rules in the Schwinger model",
Prepared for Quark Confinement and the Hadron Spectrum 7, Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal, 2-7 Sep 2006. Published in AIP Conf.Proc.892:217-219,2007. Also in *Ponta Delgada 2006, Quark confinement and the hadron spectrum* 217-219


  • Zhores Alferov Prize, 1997
  • Master's Diploma with honors, 1999
  • Piter Kahn Fellowship, 2004
  • David Fox Prize for Best Teaching Assistant, 2005

Teaching experience

Year Subject Capacity Institution
2000 - 2002 General physics Lab and recitation instructor SUNY at Stony Brook, United States
2003 - 2004 Graduate Physics Laboratory Lab instructor SUNY at Stony Brook, United States
2005 Modern electronics for science students Lab instructor SUNY at Stony Brook, United States
2007-2008 Complex analysis Lecturer, very part time Brunel University, West London, United Kingdom


Russian - native

English - fluent

German - basic