Our lab uses theoretical and computational techniques to study a wide variety of soft condensed matter systems both in and out of equilibrium. How do we explain the way disordered solids maintain their rigidity, and also how they fail? What can simple models of active matter teach us about the collective behavior of cells in dense tissue, or about how birds flock? We focus on the role of topology and topological interactions in protecting system behaviors even in the presence of strong fluctuations – this allows us to make strong predictions about how a system responds to perturbations even when using extremely simplified, coarse-grained representations. We employ data-science-driven techniques, working closely with experiments, to formulate precisely tests that can discriminate between different theoretical approaches.

Please see the Research and Code pages for more details on the systems we’re interested in, and on the open-source codes we’ve developed to help study them!


Oct. 2020: Sumedh Khanolkar joins the group!

Our first undergraduate researcher, Sumedh, has joined the group – welcome! Sumedh is a sophomore working with the SIRE program to his first look at what research is like. Looking forward to working together this year and, hopefully, beyond!

Sep. 2020: Haicen Yue joins the group!

We’re thrilled to welcome the group’s first postdoctoral scholar, and one of Emory’s TMLS postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Haicen Yue! Haicen’s Ph.D. was completed in the Rappel lab at UC San Diego, and she’s joining us after being a postdoc at the Courant Institute working with Alex Mogilner. The whole group is excited to have the chance to work with Haicen over the next few years!

June 2020: Paper published in Physical Review Research!

Daniel’s first Emory-based single-author-paper has been published! Check out the open-access article, and see this page for more details!

May 2020: First students join the group!

Welcome to the group, Charles and Tomi!

Dec. 2019: Paper on modeling nematic liquid crystals published!

A joint paper with Daniel Beller’s group at UC Merced has been published! Check out this page for more details!