# About

I am currently 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**

*April 2023:*I gave a talk at MIT Physical Mathematics Seminar talk based on joint works with Grace Zhang, David Nelson, and Amin Doostmohammadi.*March 2023:*I gave a talk at APS March Meeting 2023 talk based on joint works with Grace Zhang, David Nelson, and Amin Doostmohammadi.*November 2022:*I gave a talk at Harvard’s Squishy Physics seminar based on recent joint work with Grace Zhang and David Nelson.*August 2022:*I gave a talk at the Current and Future Themes in Soft & Biological Active Matter workshop at Nordita based on recent joint work with L. Mahadevan.

## Publications

**Active topological defect absorption by a curvature singularity**

**FV**, D. R. Nelson, Amin Doostmohammadi arXiv (2023)

**Statics and diffusive dynamics of surfaces driven by p-atic topological defects**

**FV**, L. Mahadevan, arXiv (2023)

**Defect dynamics in active polar fluids vs. active nematics**

**FV**, Soft Matter 42, 8087-8097 (2022)

arXiv

**Active nematic defects and epithelial morphogenesis**

**FV**, L. Mahadevan, Phys. Rev. Lett. 129, 048101 (2022)

arXiv

**Defect absorption and emission for p-atic liquid crystals on cones**

**FV**, G. H. Zhang, D. R. Nelson, Phys. Rev. E 106, 024704 (2022)

arXiv

**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)

arXiv

**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)

arXiv

**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)

arXiv

* equal contribution