Student Research Spotlight

Michael Carlson Profile Picture

Michael Carlson

Department:

Physics

Advisor:

Dr. Srividya Iyer-Biswas

Research Title:

Adaptability in complex biophysical systems

Research Description:

In our lab, we are able to take measurements from single cells over a matter of weeks to get high-quality data. We can concatenate all this data to find specific population-level trends. We have found that these trends collapse on top of each other when rescaled by their means.

My research deals specifically with the ability of cells to adapt to different conditions. One example is when cells start an experiment with sugary food that prompts rapid growth. Halfway through, we switch to a "healthy" food with less sugars. The cells go through a period of extremely slow growth as they attempt to adapt to this new growth condition. After a few hours, the cells are able to grow to the same size as before, albeit a little slower than with the sugary food. I hope to be able to apply the cells' internal algorithms for adaptability and precision to completely different areas, such as machine learning.

Why CIGP?

Since high school, I have loved physics and all its applications. But, growing up with an electrical engineer for a father, I learned to love working with computers and programming. I find the most fascinating problems and research are found at the intersection of multiple fields of study. There are many untapped applications that can change the world when you bring together perspective from different areas.

Awards:

  • Lynn CIGP Fellowship

Leadership:

  • I helped with the "Physics Inside Out" summer camp for sixth graders. In addition, I hope to start a program titled "When in doubt, draw it out" about how to interpret problems in a graphical manner.

Personal Page:

Ernest C. Young Hall, Room 170 | 155  S. Grant Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2114 | 765-494-2600

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