What do you do? That is the standard question we get during the conference dinner. I am sure that most of my colleagues have a prepared answer that they can recite without even thinking. I’ve always had a problem explaining to people what I do while standing on one foot, especially if I wanted to avoid sounding too arrogant or raising an eyebrow or two as people listen: My background is truly interdisciplinary which is strongly reflected in my current research activities.
I started as undergraduate in Physics at Zagreb University (1986-1991), obtained a doctoral degree in Theoretical Chemistry at Gothenburg University (1991-1996). After that I wanted to learn the statistical physics toolbox and wanted to move into statistical physics. This happened through the series of three post-docs: 1996-2002, studied diffusion-controlled reactions (with Henrik Johannesson, Chalmers, Institute of Theoretical Physics), moved to the Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics (NORDITA, now moved from Copenhagen to Stockholm) where I studied protein folding with John Hertz. There I learned a great deal of spin-glass physics. In that period I continued investigating diffusion-controlled reactions. My last post-doc was with Peter Appel at the Applied Physics Department at Chalmers, where I looked into polymer-translocation problem, a remarkably challenging multi-scale modelling problem. There I stayed as assistant professor in Biological Physics (2002-2006) and this is where my truly independent scientific life started.
In 2007 I obtained a permanent position of Associate Professor at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2. By that time I got my employment at MC2 it was clear to me that my research interest lie at the interface between condensed-matter theory, statistical physics, theoretical cell biology, and computer science. I decided to develop in that area being fully aware of the fact that it was the time to focus which, alas, I did not do since there are so many interesting things to look at.
My research interests are as follows:
- non-equilibrium statistical physics (diffusion-controlled reactions, polymer dynamics in “exotic” geometries; in principle anything to do with fluctuation and noise)
- theoretical cell biology (effects of noise on gene expression networks, complex formation dynamics, and HIV latency)
- (theoretical) computer science (unconventional computation: neuromorphic computing, reservoir computing, computing with memristor networks, advanced sensing systems; formal models of unconventional computation; the implementation problem – “can a rock compute?”)
- mathematics in general
- formal logic
- measure theory
- approximation theorems
Impact of my research results:
This is a hard one for every theoretician. I am proud of saying that I have a strong network of people I interact with. These people (1) inspire me, (2) teach me things I do not know about, (3) tell me when I am wrong, and most importantly (4) implement some of my theoretical ideas.
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