Four postdoc fellows have joined DIEP@UvA in December 1st 2020. Two more researchers will join DIEP in September and December 2021. The fellows will be engaged in emergence-related research with collaborations within the institutes: Institute of Physics (IoP), the Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics (KdVI), the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), the Informatics Institute (IvI), the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS).
Mauricio del Razo Sarmina
I am interested in studying biochemical reaction systems in living cells. These systems constantly exchange material and energy with their environment; they consume chemical energy and dissipate heat. Namely, they operate in an open non-equilibrium setting. As these systems generally involve an extremely large number of microscopic constituents, modeling the whole system with molecular detail is practically unfeasible. It is thus fundamental to learn what are the emergent laws and principles that govern the collective behavior at the different scales and to develop consistent multiscale frameworks based on them. My goal at DIEP is to discover theses emergent laws and principles and employ them to develop a unifying theoretical and computational framework for multiscale biochemical reaction systems in open non-equilibrium settings.
Soroush Rafiee Rad
My research lies at the intersection of mathematics, uncertain reasoning and information dynamics. It ties closely with research on classical and quantum information theory and the study of complex systems on one hand, and decision theory and formal epistemology on the other hand. I have worked on mathematical analysis of entropy based inference in inductive logic, probabilistic reasoning, models of rational deliberation and preference aggregation, and study of mathematical structures in quantum theory. I hope to follow two main research foci at the DIEP. First is to study in detail connections between the theory of dynamical systems and model theory of dynamic epistemic logic. And second, I hope to collaborate closely with the research project on information theory both in studying the adaptive complex systems as well as in research on quantum information theory.
If pressed for an answer to the question of my academic identity, I would reluctantly call myself a mathematician. I ended my studies with a PhD in mathematics and more specifically in probability theory. This was a somewhat natural continuation from my Msc in statistical mechanics (theoretical physics). My research formed part of the NETWORKS consortium and focused on the influence of the network topology in the interaction structure on the ability of oscillators to synchronize. Currently, I work with Arnoud den Boer on pricing algorithms that can learn to collude. For the fellowship at DIEP I intend to find more practical applications of the insights and methods I have acquired thus far. Studying the influence of various network structures on emergent phenomenon, for example, in agent-based models or social choice theory is a good starting point. Other than that I intend to use causal inference to test the insights from my previous research with real-world data.
After 10 years of performing research in high-energy physics, I have now become interested in developing new theoretical methods for dynamical stochastic systems on complex networks, using techniques inspired by quantum mechanics. Many complex systems allow for a description in terms of a stochastic process with a great number of constituents interacting in a randomly determined fashion. Examples of this are the spreading of infectious diseases through a population or the firing of neurons in the brain. The collective behaviour of these constituents can give rise to emergent phenomena. Mathematically, this collective system can be obtained from the constituents in a similar way as many-body quantum systems are described in terms of the component quantum particles. My research aims to exploit this similarity and bring the study of emergence in classical stochastic systems closer to the study of exotic phases of matter in many-body quantum systems. An important aspect in this is played by the network structure which mediates the interactions. Wout joined DIEP in February 2021 via a NWO grant attributed to NWA route 2.
Piotr is joining DIEP in December 2021 via a NWO grant attributed to NWA route 2. Piotr is an expert in condensed matter physics, soft matter and aspects of high-energy physics. At DIEP he will be studying emergent phases of matter such as fracton phases and odd-elasticity in soft condensed matter systems.
Akash will be joining DIEP in September 2021 via a Marie Curie grant. Akash is a theoretical physicist with interests in hydrodynamic theory and holography. At DIEP he will be developing hydrodynamic models and applying them to active systems in soft matter as well as to heavy-ion collisions at CERN.