I am currently on the job market.

I am a postdoc at the Harvard Center of Mathematical Sciences and Applications, where I have been working with David Nelson and L. Mahadevan. As a theoretical physicist, I am interested in soft matter and biophysics, particularly active matter, liquid crystals on curved surfaces, topological defects, morphogenesis, and the interplay between geometry and topology.

I received my PhD in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I was advised by Boris Shraiman. As a graduate student, I also worked with Cenke Xu on topological aspects of hard condensed matter physics as well as Cristina Marchetti and Mark Bowick in soft matter.

Prior to that, I received an AB in physics and mathematics from Harvard College. As an undergraduate, I attended the Caltech LIGO SURF REU under Yanbei Chen.

I also co-organize with David Nelson the Harvard CMSA Active Matter Seminar. We encourage anyone interested broadly in active matter research to attend.

Here is my CV.

Recent News


Periodic orbits, pair nucleation, and unbinding of active nematic defects on cones
FV, D. R. Nelson, Amin Doostmohammadi, arXiv (2023)

Active topological defect absorption by a curvature singularity
FV, D. R. Nelson, Amin Doostmohammadi, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 35, 425101 (2023) arXiv

Statics and diffusive dynamics of surfaces driven by p-atic topological defects
FV, L. Mahadevan, Soft Matter 19, 6652-6663 (2023) arXiv

Defect dynamics in active polar fluids vs. active nematics
FV, Soft Matter 42, 8087-8097 (2022)

Active nematic defects and epithelial morphogenesis
FV, L. Mahadevan, Phys. Rev. Lett. 129, 048101 (2022)

Defect absorption and emission for p-atic liquid crystals on cones
FV, G. H. Zhang, D. R. Nelson, Phys. Rev. E 106, 024704 (2022)

Geometry and Dynamics of Active Topological Defects FV, Ph.D. Thesis (2021)

Fluctuations can induce local nematic order and extensile stress in monolayers of motile cells
FV, M. J. Bowick, B. I. Shraiman, M. C. Marchetti, Soft Matter 17, 3068-3073 (2021)

Multi-defect dynamics in active nematics
FV, M. J. Bowick, M. C. Marchetti, B. I. Shraiman, arXiv (2020)

Symmetry-protected topological Hopf insulator and its generalizations
C. Liu*, FV*, C. Xu, Phys. Rev. B 95, 161116 (2017) (Editors’ Suggestion, Rapid Communication)

Chern-Simons theory and Wilson loops in the Brillouin zone
B. Lian, C. Vafa, FV, S.C Zhang, Phys. Rev. B 95, 094512 (2017) (Editors’ Suggestion)

* equal contribution