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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Jennifer Schwarz

Schwartz portrait

Associate Professor


Biophysical Science

229A Physics Building


Research Interests

  • Building models of constraint percolation inspired by jamming in granular and glassy systems.
  • Studying the interplay between morphology and rheology in the actin cytoskeleton via rigidity percolation.
  • Looking for discontinuous, disorder-driven localization transitions in quantum systems, a.k.a. quantum constraint percolation.

Research Spotlight


Crosslinked cytoskeletal networks with two types of crosslinkers: freely-rotating and angle-constraining. A deformed configuration with 2.7 percent strain and bond occupation probability p=0.64. The purple lines denote cytoskeletal filaments, the red arcs denote angle-constraining crosslinks, the black circles represent nodes where all crossing filaments are free to rotate, while the grey circles denote nodes where some of the crossing filaments are free to rotate.

Research Lab:

News Articles

Physicists Awarded NSF Grant to Study Cancer-Cell Behavior

(Aug. 3, 2016)

Professors Manning, Marchetti, Schwarz use soft-matter physics to find cure for cancer

Syracuse Physicists Achieve Success with Shape-Shifting Water Droplets

(March 10, 2016)

Findings may have important implications for soft robotics

Syracuse Hosts ‘Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics’

(Feb. 10, 2016)

Weekend conference examined intersectionality in scientific, sociological settings

Living in the Material World

(Nov. 19, 2015)

Physics professor using NSF grant award to study physical properties of biological entities


2002 Ph.D. in Physics Harvard University

2002 M.A. in Physics Harvard University

1994 B.S. in Physics (magna cum laude) University of Maryland, College Park

Awards & Professional Honors

National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2007

Selected Publications

K.-C. Lee, A. Gopinathan, and J. M. Schwarz, "Modeling the formation of in vitro filopodia", J. Math. Biol. 63, 229 (2011).

D. A. Quint and J. M. Schwarz, "Optimal orientation in branched cytoskeletal networks", J. Math. Biol. [Epub. ahead of print] (2010).

M. Jeng and J. M. Schwarz, "Force-balance percolation", Phys. Rev. E 81, 01134 (2010).

L. Cao and J. M. Schwarz, "Quantum k-core conduction on the Bethe lattice", Phys. Rev. E 82, 104211 (2010).

M. Jeng, S.-L-.Y. Xu. E. Hawkins, and J. M. Schwarz, "On the nonlocality of the fractional Schrodinger equation", J. Math. Phys. 51, 062102 (2010).