About Me

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I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University. Before that, I did my Ph.D at Brown University, where I was the Simon Ostrach Fellow at the School of Engineering. My advisor was Thomas R. Powers.

My background is in theoretical soft condensed matter physics and applied math, especially the interface of liquid crystals, viscous hydrodynamics, geometry, dynamics, and the elasticity of plates, rods, and shells. In my doctoral work I analyzed several problems related to bacterial motility and collective dynamics in liquid crystals and confined geometries, and also some related to the dynamics and morphogenesis of thin nematic elastomers.

Now I am working on problems in epidemiology and evolutionary dynamics. On the evolutionary side, I am particularly interested in very early events in evolution — namely, pre-biotic evolution and the emergence of life — and very recent events, which pertain to cultural and linguistic evolution. On the epidemiological side, I am interested in the emergence of drug resistance, as well as horizontal gene transfer and cooperation between microorganisms in a broader sense.

I have recently struck up a collaboration with the Quantitative Criticism Lab, examining Old English poetry using computational techniques. Old English was an undergraduate passion of mine so I am delighted to be revisiting it in this context.

I am also interested in singularity (or “catastrophe”) theory and its application both to the elasticity of ordered phases and to design, such as lights and fountains. I believe topology and abstract algebra should play a greater role in primary math education and am collecting examples of useful material in the forms of puzzles and interactive parks from around the world.

My Erdős and Einstein number are both 4. V. I. Arnol’d is my math hero.

For more information, please see my CV

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