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Ideas Challenge Winners



Congratulations to our Ideas Challenge winners in the Matter track! These applicants probe new concepts in the ambiguous relations between aspects of material complexity and systems of biological organization (such as active matter). Learn more about them and their projects below.

William Fitzgerald
GitHub, Inc.
Simulations of swarming behavior have focused on how a swarm can emerge from simple, local decisions. Yet, in some real biological swarms,  some agents serve different roles which effect the behavior of the swarm—for example some honey bees serve as scouts for their swarm. What place do roles play in achieving the goals (teleological end states) of swarms, despite individual agents having limited sensory and communicative abilities?  
Cristian Huepe
Cristian Huepe Labs Inc.
A fundamental property of active matter and living systems is that energy is generated at small scales and then self-organizes to produce work at larger scales. Examples include the coordination of actin-based components into molecular machines, or of self-propelled agents into collective motion. This Research Idea consists in developing a theoretical framework for understanding these processes as an inverse energy cascade from smaller to larger structures. It aims to develop the groundwork for reinterpreting the self-organizing drive of these systems towards increasing coherence and complexity in terms of the flow of energy and information.