Complex systems such as metabolic pathways, ecosystems, and the Internet typically have a large number of components which may act according to rules that may change over time and that may not be well understood; the connectivity of the components may be quite plastic and roles may be fluid.
We seek to answer some of the most elusive and fascinating questions investigated by scientists nowadays: How consciousness arises out of the interactions of the neurons in the brain and between the brain and its environment, how humans create and learn societal rules, or how DNA orchestrates processes in our cells.
How will big pictures emerge from a sea of biological data? Scientists are accumulating information about biological sequences, structures, interactions and dynamics of the biological systems faster than we have the power to understand them. Due to the advent of high-throughput tools, as well as new technologies that allow us to accurately measure the dynamics of specific network components, it is possible for the first time to ask questions on time and length scales that were previously intractable.
We collaborate with experimental biologists to develop rational models and assumptions and validate them with empirical data. Our projects range from the dynamics of the eukaryotic stress response to developing a process-motivated model for handling microarray data to modeling dynamics of networks patterning the developing Drosophila eye.
Science of Science
Despite the importance of creativity to human flourishing, our understanding of it is still nascent. The universality of the creative process suggests the possibility that the conditions fostering the highest levels of creativity may be understandable through the use of the scientific method.
Our team aims to fill this void by investigating from a quantitative, systematic perspective the set of conditions, from the individual to the environmental, that foster creativity of the highest level.