Ariel Amir, Principal Investigator 

Office: Pierce Hall 321

Ariel Amir grew up in Israel and received his B.S. from Hebrew University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science. In 2011, he came to Harvard University as a Junior Fellow, and in 2014, he joined the Harvard Paulson School as Assistant Professor of Applied Math and Applied Physics. His research centers on the theory of complex systems, which he applies to problems from physics, materials science, and living organisms, often in collaboration with experimental groups. He emphasizes the need to recognize unifying principles that cross disciplinary boundaries. For example, he has shown that the behavior within a class of different glassy systems is universal, and is currently working on extending these tools to systems not typically viewed as “glasses.” Similarly, his research in biophysics employs dislocation theory—widely used to analyze mechanical properties of solids—in modeling bacterial cell wall growth. Methods from statistical mechanics allowed him to address the problem of how microorganisms such as bacteria control the size of their cells. Current work in the group is focused on various aspects of disordered systems and stochastic processes, including structural coloration (generation of colors by means of specific structures at the sub-micron scale rather than pigments), shape regulation in microorganisms and the physics of glassy systems. 

Jie Lin, Postdoctoral Fellow 

Office: Pierce 314

Jie is generally interested in statistical physics of biological systems and soft matter. He has been working on different topics including population growth, cell size regulation, driven amorphous solids, and jammed packings.

Felix Barber, Graduate Student 

Molecular and Cellular Biology, G3
Office: Pierce Hall 411

Felix's research focuses on studying the regulation of cell size through a combination theoretical and experimental approaches, with a joint supervision by Andrew Murray.


Po-Yi Ho, Graduate Student 

Applied Physics, G3
Office: Pierce Hall 407

Po-Yi's research focuses on understanding how cells grow and divide. How do cells regulate and coordinate the timing of their divisions and the replication of their chromosomes? What is the stochastic nature of these processes, and how are they controlled?


Felix Wong, Graduate Student 

Applied Physics, G3
Office: Pierce Hall 407

Felix's research focuses on cell mechanics, and in particular on understanding the subcellular organization and regulatory processes needed for bacteria to maintain a robust shape. He is addressing this question using tools from differential geometry to coarse-grained numerical computation. 


Yipei Guo, Graduate Student 

Biophysics, G2
Office: TBD

Adam Frim, Undergraduate Student 

Physics, Class of 2018

Adam is modeling the dynamics of the Euler's Disk with a particular focus on observed auditory events.




Nitin Upadhyaya, Postdoctoral Fellow 



Caleb Q. Cook, Undergraduate Student 
Current: Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Physics and Mathematics, Class of 2015

Caleb was studying the optical properties of slowly chirped dielectric mirrors and their applications in biological systems, such as butterflies and beetles. 


Michael Landry, Undergraduate Student 

Physics and Mathematics, Class of 2016

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Mark Arildsen, Undergraduate Student 

Physics and Mathematics, Class of 2016

Mark was developing optical models for the chirally selective reflectors found in the elytra of a number of species of scarab beetle.

Olumakinde Ogunnaike, Undergraduate Student 

Physics, Class of 2017 

Makinde was modeling the diffusive behavior of quantum mechanical wavepackets in noisy environments.