The department has strong research programs in optics and condensed matter physics and an emerging emphasis on biophysics. Experimental, theoretical, and computational research seeks to understand the physics and applications of new materials and to answer fundamental questions about the dynamical behavior of biological and nanoscale systems. As home of the Paradigms in Physics upper-division curriculum project and an expanding program of reform in the lower-division service courses, our department has a strong culture of shared responsibility for curriculum development supported by physics education research. We particularly value collaborative interdisciplinary projects that span departments within the College of Science and with other colleges, especially Engineering and Education.