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We are a Soft Matter group in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, interested in studying matter from a variety of perspectives. We develop and use theoretical, computational, and experimental tools to explore the fundamentals of materials. And, of course, we are not stopping there; we are also pondering how these revelations might guide us in crafting engineering solutions. In our scientific explorations, we are always on the lookout for curious, creative, and motivated individuals to join us on this intellectual journey. Questions that we are currently contemplating span a broad spectrum, including but not limited to:

  • How can we use physical degrees of freedom in disordered materials to systematically explore the space of possible meta-stable states and train desired functionality into such materials?
  • How is mechanical memory stored in the structure of a material?
  • Can memories of direction in solids and viscous fluids be quantified in terms of information stored in the system?
  • How do non-living and living systems lacking a central nervous system express learning, memory, and signal processing?