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Personal profile

Biography

Nick grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of east Tennessee in the USA. A high school astronomy class got him interested in phsyics reasearch. He practices swing dancing and plays tabletop games as an analog of a social life. He got lucky and found a wife who shares these interests. He practices Tae Kwon Do as the nerdiest way to get exercise.

He graduated from Tennessee Tech University in 2014 with a double degree in Computer Science and Physics. He graduated from Emory University in 2019 with a Master's degree in Computer Scince and a Ph.D. in Physics. He then moved to Monash University for a three year postdoc appointment.

Research interests

Nick has always been interested in using computer simulations to do scientific research. The idea of setting up an explicit set of rules and seeing how they play out is intriguing to him. The field of soft condensed matter is a particularly ripe area to apply this tool. The "rules" governing material properties of complex systems like polymers and colloidal suspensions are not well understood. With the advent of GPU computing, great strides are being made with simulations of thousands or even millions of particles. These particles may interact by simple rules, but their collective interaction produces complex behaviour. We study materials whose properties mutate over time, or which respond very differently to fast and slow manipulation.

Piles of sand, biological tissues, and a road full of cars are all many small pieces interacting by simple rules to produce a large, complex system. Cells obviously have much more complex behaviour than grains of sand, but nevertheless we can find similarities between the fundamental structures within different systems to design better materials and understand our world.

Education/Academic qualification

Physics, Doctor of Philosophy, Emory University

23 Aug 201431 May 2019

Award Date: 12 May 2019

Computer Science, Master of Science, Emory University

23 Aug 201412 May 2019

Award Date: 12 May 2019

Physics, Bachelor of Science, Tennessee Technological University

23 Aug 20091 May 2014

Award Date: 1 May 2014

Computer Science, Bachelor of Science, Tennessee Technological University

23 Aug 20091 May 2014

Award Date: 1 May 2014

Research area keywords

  • soft matter
  • Polymer solution rheology
  • colloids
  • Simulation and Modelling
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