Omar A. Ashour

Omar A. Ashour

Graduate Student Researcher

UC Berkeley

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab


I am a third-year condensed matter theory student at UC Berkeley, working with Sinéad Griffin and James Analytis. My research interests include ab initio studies of topological systems. I am currently particularly interested in both time-reversal symmetric (TRS-TI) and antiferromagnetic topological insulators (AFTI), as well as topological sensors for dark matter detection. Presently, I am additionally studying nanoscale Turing pattern formation. I have previously worked with Steven G. Louie on first-principles studies of TRS-TIs.

Prior to joining the physics PhD program, I spent 2 years as a Berkeley Graduate Fellow exploring my interests in mathematical physics and both condensed matter theory and experiment, culminating in an MS in applied physics from the AS&T program.

I earned my BS in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University in 2017, with an emphasis in optics and a thesis in mathematical physics. At A&M, I studied integrable systems with professors Siu A. Chin and Milivoj R. Belić, exploring the mathematical physics of the nonlinear Schrödinger hierarchy. I additionally pursued experimental and computational work at the Rentzepis lab in ultrafast x-ray diffraction and biophysics.

I am the developer of a Julia package for sovling nonlinear Schrödinger equations, known as NonlinearSchrodinger.jl.

On a personal level, my hobbies include building mechanical keyboards, 3D printing and home automation. I live with my wife, two cats (1, 2) and puppy in the SF Bay Area.

I keep a website for my notes, academic and otherwise, which can be accessed here.


  • Broad classes of topological insulators
  • Direct dark matter detection
  • Nanoscale pattern formation
  • Nonlinear Schrödinger equations
  • Classical integrability


  • PhD, Physics, 2024

    UC Berkeley

  • MA, Physics, 2020

    UC Berkeley

  • MS, AS&T (Applied Physics), 2019

    UC Berkeley

  • BS, Electrical Engineering (Optics), 2017

    Texas A&M University