Mehran Kardar is known for his research and teaching in statistical physics. Born in Tehran, he studied in Cambridge University (BA in 1979), and at MIT (PhD in 1983). He was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows from 1983 to 1986, before returning to MIT as a faculty member. He has been a visiting Professor at a number of institutions including KUL (Belgium), Oxford, UC Santa Barbara (KITP), UC Berkeley (Miller fellow), and Ecole Normale Superieure (Paris). He is the author of two books on Statistical Physics, and lectured has extensively on related topics both at MIT (garnering several MIT teaching awards) and in workshops (including Beg Rohu and Les Houches in France, Newton Institute in Cambridge, Troisieme cycle in Switzerland, and Jyvaskyla in Finland). He was recognized by the John David Jackson Award for Excellence in Graduate Physics Education. His service to the community includes Founding Board membership of the New England Complex Science Institute, Editorial board of Journal of Statistical Physics, and organization of Gordon Conference and KITP workshops. He is Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Research Interests

Statistical physics is concerned with myriad phenomena emerging from collective behaviors of very large numbers of underlying entities. The tools of the discipline, matured over the last century, successfully account for the diverse phases of matter and transitions between them. However, these methods have traditionally been restricted to systems in equilibrium. A focus of my research has been on phenomena emerging in systems out of equilibrium, extending and generalizing methods of statistical physics when possible. A notable result has been in the context of fluctuations of a growing interface. As consequence of the ubiquity of non-equilibrium phenomena, our work has touched upon many areas from applied mathematics (stochastic differential equations) to material science (so-called active matter) to immunology (vaccination strategies).

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Primary Section

Section 33: Applied Physical Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 13: Physics