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May 8, 2014

Ian Balitsky Is Winner of Faculty Research Achievement Award

topstory3-lgDavid Harnage, chief operating officer, Ian Balitsky and Carol Simpson, provost

Old Dominion's annual Faculty Research Achievement Award went to Ian Balitsky, professor of physics, at the Faculty Awards and Retirement Dinner on Tuesday, May 6.

The award is presented each spring to a tenured member(s) who has exhibited consistent excellence in his or her research efforts. The purpose of the award is to recognize the accomplishments of faculty who achieve national prominence for high-quality research and scholarship.

Balitsky earned as Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute (St. Petersburg, Russia) in 1984. From 1992-96 he was a postdoctoral associate at Penn State and then a research associate at MIT before coming to ODU as an assistant professor in 1996. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2000 and to full professor in 2004.

Balitsky is internationally known for his groundbreaking theoretical work in the field of "Quantum Chromodynamics" or QCD, for short. QCD is a quantum field theory that describes how the subatomic particles that make up protons and neutrons in the nucleus - the so-called "quarks" and "gluons" - interact with each other. The theory is highly mathematical and Balitsky is known for his extraordinary mathematical insight.

His publications have received more than 7,200 citations - 400 alone in 2013. One of his papers, published in 1978, now has more than 2,500 citations and a second paper, published in 1996, just surpassed the 1,000-citation mark a few weeks ago. Several famous equations important to the understanding of nuclear behavior are attributed to Balitsky.

He is frequently invited to speak at international conferences, workshops and universities. A Fellow of the American Physical Society, he received the ODU College of Sciences Research Award in 2010. He is funded both by the Jefferson Lab, where he is also a senior staff member of the Theory Group, and by the Department of Energy.

The Office of Research forwards the nominations it receives for the Faculty Research Achievement Award to the Faculty Senate's Committee on Scholarly Activity and Research, which selects the winner(s). Honorees receive a plaque and a check for $2,500.