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"For innovative experiments involving undergraduate students on nonlinear patterns in electrical lattices and networks that have elucidated the interplay of nonlinearity and geometry in the emergence of coherent spatial and temporal structures."Background:
Lars was born in Bloomington, Indiana in 1973, a year before his parents moved to Germany, where he would later complete his secondary education. He enrolled in college at Denison University and, after a semester as a research intern at Oak Ridge National Lab, graduated with a B.S. in physics in 1996. It is at Denison where he first experienced the inspiring potential of undergraduate research. He then pursued graduate studies at Cornell University, doing research in condensed matter physics related to magnetism and nonlinear dynamics under the guidance of Al Sievers, and obtained the Ph.D. in 2003. Thereafter, he took a job at Dickinson College, where he is now a full professor of physics. At Dickinson, he considers research with undergraduates and student mentorship the most inspiring aspect, as well as a real privilege, of being a professor at a liberal-arts college. He has also found collaborations with researchers at other institutions to be an essential ingredient in maintaining a vibrant research program at a smaller institution, and he has had the privilege of working with wonderful people at from around the country and world, which has resulted in about 50 peer-reviewed publications. He was the recipient of the RCSA Cottrell College Science Award in 2007. One focus of his NSF-supported research has been the nonlinear dynamics in electrical lattices and networks, and spatiotemporal pattern formation and the generation of fully nonlinear excitations therein.