Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
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Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe Environmental Complexity Lab studies self-organization in a variety of complex systems, ranging from turbulent fluid flows to granular materials to collective motion in animal groups. In all cases, we aim to characterize the macroscopic behavior, understand its origin in the microscopic dynamics, and ultimately harness it for engineering applications. Most of our projects are experimental, though we also use numerical simulation and mathematical modeling when appropriate. We specialize in high-speed, detailed imaging and statistical analysis.
Our current research includes studies of turbulence in two and three dimensions, with a focus on coherent structures and the geometry of turbulence; the transport of inertial, anisotropic, and active particles in turbulence; the erosion of granular beds by fluid flows and subsequent sediment transport; quantitative measurements of collective behavior in insect swarms and bird flocks; the stability of ocean ecosystems; neural signal processing; and uncovering the natural, self-organized spatiotemporal scales in urban systems.
Max H. Stein Professor
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsStatistical methods to analyze large data matrices in bioinformatics