I am a Professor of Applied Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics at MIT. A fluid dynamicist, I initially worked on geophysical and environmental flows, but subsequently shifted to surface tension-driven phenomena and their applications in biology. For the past decade, the focus of my research has been hydrodynamic quantum analogues.


I joined the MIT faculty in applied mathematics in January 1998, was tenured in 2004 and promoted to full professor in 2009. I received my B.Sc and M.Sc in physics from the University of Toronto, my Ph.D. in geophysics from Harvard University in 1993. I pursued my postdoctoral research at DAMTP, University of Cambridge from 1993 to 1997.

My research is concerned with physical mathematics, the application of mathematical methods to problems arising in the physical sciences. My interests lie in physical systems that can be readily observed in either natural or laboratory settings. I thus direct the Applied Math Laboratory in the Department of Mathematics, where particular attention is given to continuum mechanics, the dynamics of fluids and flexible solids. The bulk of my group’s research has both experimental and theoretical components, the goal being to iterate between the two until consistent physical pictures and theoretical models emerge

“Je parle pour les gens habitués à trouver de la sagesse dans la feuille qui tombe, des problèmes gigantesques dans la fumée qui s’élève, des théories dans la vibration de la lumière, de la pensée dans les marbres, et le plus horrible des mouvements dans l’immobilité. Je me place au point précis où la science touche à la folie, et je ne puis mettre de garde-fous.”
– Honoré de Balzac, Théorie de la démarche, 1833