Boris I. Shraiman

University of California, Santa Barbara


Primary Section: 13, Physics
Secondary Section: 29, Biophysics and Computational Biology
Membership Type: Member (elected 2011)

Research Interests

Shraiman's early work addressed universal aspects of the transition to chaos in dynamical systems and subsequently expanded into a broad study of spatio-temporal pattern formation. The latter work yielded insight into the so called "velocity selection" problem in viscous flows and dendritic growth. Upon arrival at Bell Labs, Shraiman began to work in "hard" condensed matter theory, notably on the problem of charge carriers in quantum antiferromagnets and on the mechanism of the colossal magneto-resistance in manganite perovskites.  Returning to the problem of chaos and turbulence, he made a significant advance in the understanding of intermittency and anomalous scaling in turbulent advection. Starting in mid-90s Shraiman evolved an interest in Biology which has in time led to his current preoccupation with: a) Morphogenesis, which addresses the problem of "growth and form" in animal development and b) Statistical Genetics, which aims to quantitatively describe evolutionary dynamics in populations with extensive fitness diversity. Both subjects involve strongly interacting systems and bring up unexpected but direct and useful connections with statistical physics. Discovering, exploring and exploiting these connections in order to develop new understanding of biological problems, is the main goal of Shraiman's current research.

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