- Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics
Ariel Amir grew up in Israel and received his B.S. from Hebrew University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science. In 2011, he came to Harvard University as a Junior Fellow, and in 2014, he joined the Harvard Paulson School as Assistant Professor of Applied Math and Applied Physics.
His research centers on the theory of complex systems, which he applies to problems from physics, materials science, and living organisms, often in collaboration with experimental groups.
Recent work in the group has helped identify a universal form of aging in glassy systems, elucidated the role of mechanical stress in regulating bacterial cell wall growth, and developed new stochastic models that attempt to capture the relation between cell growth, DNA replication and cell division in microbes such as budding yeast and bacteria.
Current work in the group is focused on developing stochastic models for cell cycle regulation in microbes, across a diverse sets of model organisms (bacteria, budding yeast and archaea) and on the mechanics and shape regulation of bacteria. Additional themes include studying slow relaxations and aging in glassy systems and the theory of structural coloration (generation of colors by means of specific structures at the sub-micron scale rather than pigments).