What to bring to your weekly meeting

There’s a nice blog post from the Avasthi Lab on key points for students meeting their advisor. I agree with these points and refer you to the post here: They are quickly summarized here, but go read the more detailed ideas at the original post:. Use time wisely, bring an agenda of items you want to discuss Remind your advisor what was last discussed to get the discussion up to speed quickly.

Motion and change study via image analysis

Static image processing provides tremendous insights for a wide array of research areas. Analysis of phenomena that change with time is also possible when time-lapse imaging has been performed. There are many advantages to dynamic studies of this type. One is the ability to analyze things that happen over very short or very long time scales. Another is the study of motion. Taking this approach means we can use something as simple as a phone camera movie to develop a sophisticated and quantitative analysis.

UNSW proxy

UNSW library has a great many journal subscriptions you can use to access sources for your research. We often need to work with these sources when we are off-campus, but the library restricts access to those within its network. A proxy server allows us to be “within UNSW’s network” even when we are far from campus. Here’s how to use ours. Let’s say I need to download the colloidosome article below: You see the PDF link is greyed out and if I click on it will be told I don’t have access.

Instagram Post: Cubes

Have you ever seen a 50 micron cube dance? Have you ever seen a liquid droplet with corners? Now you have. These two cubes are liquid crystalline droplets with very solid-like properties that allow them to hold non-spherical shapes. The particles are known as cubosomes and we are using them to see how shape influences biological function in #softmatter Video by Haiqiao Wang. #cubosomes #UNSW A post shared by spicerlab@UNSW (@softmatterhacker) on Feb 2, 2017 at 4:28pm PST

Group Bibliography

Any group has a lineage and history that has informed its focus and expertise. We are a fairly interdisciplinary group, blending engineering, physics, chemistry, foods, and biology, and the below texts are recommended as introductory and reference materials for anyone wanting to deepen or broaden their pursuit of complex fluids behaviour with us. Depending on your project, some will be of more use than others. I’ve grouped them below into three tiers, higher tiers indicating greater difficulty or specialisation, spanning several subjects.

Thesis Resources

A great blog, though aimed more at the humanities, is The Thesis Whisperer, an excellent resource with respect to writing and general thesis culture.

They have some great entries on becoming a better and more productive writer. One classic output is their presentation Write that journal article in 7 days!


The UNSW Complex Fluids group attended ACIS2017, the eigth biennial Australasian Colloid and Interface Symposium. The meeting was held in beautiful Coffs Harbour, New South Wales from 29 January to 2 February 2017. This international four-day conference had an excellent range of sessions and talks, with plenty of time for informal networking and discussions between the international and local colloid, surface and interface scientists. We look forward to new collaborations and ideas resulting from this great meeting!

Compilation of our tips and tutorials - FAQ

There are a number of individual posts dealing with different guides to working in the group. This is a meta-page that links directly to the guides, but not their associated posts.

To see an updated list of all such posts, simply click on the tag “faq” on any post or use this url


Mostly particle tracking with some Python links

A lot of our microstructural work is performed in concert with microrheological measurements using microscopic observations of colloidal tracer particles moving within a complex fluid. The analysis of these movies is easy these days, thanks to people who developed a number of open and freely available routines to ease the initial steps: Particle tracking microrheology is performed by many folks using IDL: Particle tracking using IDL or Matlab routines: The Matlab Particle Tracking Code Repository

Poster tips

As your work progresses, either in an Honours thesis, Master’s, or PhD, you will likely need to present a scientific poster at some point. The hosting organization will often supply a template or guideline for the poster format, and this is especially helpful to avoid changing the settings of PowerPoint (or LaTeX) yourself to print on larger-than-usual paper. Branded templates are available on MyUNSW. More important than paper size, the content, organization, and style of your poster is your responsibility and should be your main concern.