Arvind Murugan

Assistant Professor
Department of Physics, James Franck Institute, and the College

Arvind Murugan’s research interests span the fields of quantitative biology, materials design, non-equilibrium dynamics, and theoretical computer science. Recent advances in computational intelligence have relied on the collective behavior of simulated dynamical and statistical systems. Murugan is investigating whether such smart collective behaviors in “software” (error correction, neural networks, associative memory) can be implemented directly in “hardware” (biochemical reactions, self-assembly, robotics).

Bringing such emergent behavior back home to physical and chemical systems can shed light on principles underlying these learning and adaptive behaviors, reveal completely novel behaviors, and lead to new forms of designer matter. Murugan’s recent publications on similar themes include “Undesired Usage Analysis” (Nature Communications) and “Multifarious Assembly Mixtures” (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

Murugan obtained a BS with honors in mathematics from the California Institute of Technology, winning the Ryser and Kothari prizes for research and scholarship. Murugan earned his PhD in physics from Princeton University, focusing on string theory. He then transitioned to working on problems at the intersection of biological systems, theoretical computer science, and statistical physics at the Institute for Advanced Study and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University.

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