My interests lie in applying state-of-the-art computational techniques to obtain new insights into the fundamental physics of soft-condensed matter. The rendering above, for example, is from an topological analysis (primitive-path analysis Science 2004) of the mesoscopic structure of a polymer liquid. By understanding how this structure responds to deformation, we can directly observe and start to understand the molecular origin of viscoelasticity.
Computational methods are unique since they allow us to characterize microscopic molecular structure, emergent mesoscopic structure, and measure macroscopic material properties simultaneously. This is very difficult, if not impossible, to do experimentally for well characterized samples. With the insights gained from simulations, we develop a deeper understanding of the fundamental physics of soft-matter, we can very effectively examine the validity of state-of-the-art theories and experiments, and ultimately design materials with new and better properties.