PICS Faculty

The PICS faculty consists of a cross-section of world class researchers from across the wide range of disciplines represented at the University of Pennsylvania. All PICS faculty members share an interest in the application of state-of-the-art computational tools and platforms to their individual disciplines.


Leadership

PICS Director

Aleksandra Vojvodic

Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Research Interests:

  • Energy
  • Chemistry of Materials
  • Catalysis
  • Fuel Cells
  • Molecular Modeling
Office Location: PICS Suite 530
Email Aleks
 

Aleksandra’s research focuses on theoretical and computational-driven materials design. The lab uses computational frameworks to obtain fundamental understanding of surface and interface properties of complex materials that can be used to develop theoretical models for chemical transformations and energy conversion. These models have, for example, been used to predict new catalyst materials for several chemical reactions which have been experimentally synthesized and tested, validating the desired properties of the computationally predicted catalyst material.

Education:
PhD Physics 2010 – Chalmers University of Technology – Sweden
MS Physics 2004 – Lund University – Sweden

 

PICS Core Faculty & Steering Committee

 

Norm Badler

Norm Badler

  • Rachleff Professor Computer and Information Science
  • Director, Center for Digital Visualization (ViDi)
  • Director and Faculty Advisor: DIGITAL MEDIA DESIGN Undergraduate SEAS BSE Degree
  • Co-Director: Computer Graphics and Game Technology Masters (MSE) Degree

Research Interests:

  • Virtual embodied human agents
  • Fast motion generators
  • Parameterized Action Representation
  • Parameterized Behavior Trees
  • Functional crowd simulation
Read More about Norm Badler
  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, University of Toronto, 1975. Dissertation title:  “Temporal Scene Analysis: Conceptual Descriptions of Object Movements.”
  • MSc. in Mathematics, University of Toronto, 1971.
  • BA (with highest honors) in College of Creative Studies, emphasis in Mathematics; University of California, Santa Barbara, 1966-1970.

Norman I. Badler is the Rachleff Professor of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his BA in Creative Studies Mathematics from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1970, his MSc in Mathematics from the University of Toronto in 1971, and his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Toronto in 1975. He served as the Senior Co-Editor for the Journal Graphical Models for 20 years and presently serves on the Editorial Boards of several other Journals including Presence. His research involves developing software to acquire, simulate, animate and control 3D computer graphics human body, face, gesture, locomotion, and manual task motions, both individually and for heterogeneous groups. He has supervised or co-supervised 62 PhD students, many of whom have become academics or researchers in the movie visual effects and game industries. He is the founding Director of the SIG Center for Computer Graphics, the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation, and the ViDi Center for Digital Visualization at Penn. He has served Penn as Chair of the Computer & Information Science Department (1990-94) and as the Associate Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (2001-05).

Office Location: Levine 304
Email
Phone: 215-898-5862


 

John Bassani

John Bassani

  • Richard H. and S.L. Gabel Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

Research interests:

  • Biomechanics
  • Computational mechanics
  • Mechanics of materials
Read More about John Bassani
  • PhD Engineering 1978 – Harvard University
  • MS Applied Mechanics 1975 – Lehigh University
  • BS Mechanical Engineering 1973 – Lehigh University

John applies his expertise in atomic-level properties of continuum mechanics in order to model mechanical and mechano-chemical behavior of nano-structured materials. His research group explores concepts to control the formation of patterned nanostructures in the solid state and investigates the interplay between mechanics and adhesion, with applications to MEMS/NEMS devices and living cells. John has developed models for elastic and inelastic behavior, and failure at the nanoscale, including interfaces and other complex defects in crystalline materials and thin films.

Email

 


 

Pratik Chaudhari

  • Assistant Professor, Electrical and Systems Engineering & Computer and Information Science

Research Interests

  • Machine Learning and Computer Vision: Deep Learning
  • Statistical Physics
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Robotics and Control: Urban Autonomous Navigation
  • Motion Planning
  • PhD Computer Science 2018 – University of California, Los Angeles
  • MS Aeronautics & Astronautics 2014 – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • BTech Aerospace Engineering 2010 – Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

Pratik brings his passion for machine learning, robotics and computer vision to the forefront of his research. He hopes to bring the dream of cybernetics closer to reality, with an emphasis on Embodied Intelligence. The ability to perceive and control the environment is the hallmark of such intelligence and their interplay is at the core of his research. In a nutshell, he would like to build embodied autonomous agents that are intelligent not just in the sense of a chess-playing program but also intelligent in the sense of a dog. Much of Pratik’s focus is on applications in home robotics, personal healthcare and autonomous driving.

Office Location: Levine Hall 470
Email
Phone: 215-898-5814


 

Cesar de la Fuente

  • Presidential Assistant Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine
    Department of Bioengineering

Research Interests

  • Synthetic biology
  • Computer science
  • Electrical engineering
  • Microbiology
  • Drug development and delivery
  • PhD Microbiology & Immunology 2014 – University Of British Columbia
  • MSc Biotechnology 2009 – University Of Leon
  • BSc Biotechnology 2009 – University of Leon

Cesar seeks to harness computational power to find molecules with antibacterial activity. He uses synthetic biology and computational tools to determine features contributing to this activity and trains computers to find— or design— candidate molecules and tweak their structures virtually. For example, Cesar worked with a team to train a computer to execute a fitness function that selects structures that interact with bacterial membranes, thus converting several HDPs into the first artificial antimicrobials that kill bacteria both in vitro and in animals. By investigating these exciting possibilities, Cesar aims to build machine-made antibiotics to combat infectious diseases and develop clinical applications for autonomously generated synthetic molecules. Cesar believes that computer-made drugs may help to replenish our arsenal of effective drugs and outpace the evolution of antibiotic resistance.

Office Location: Robert Wood Johnson Pavilion, Room 303C 
Email
@delafuenteupenn
Phone: 215-746-6083


 

Daniel Hammer

Daniel Hammer

  • Alfred G. and Meta A. Ennis Professor Bioengineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Research Interests

  • Cellular engineering
  • Bioengineered therapeutics
  • Devices and drug delivery
  • Cell mechanics
  • PhD Chemical Engineering 1987 – University of Pennsylvania
  • MSE Chemical Engineering 1985 – University of Pennsylvania
  • BSE Chemical Engineering 1982 – Princeton University

Dan applies his research in nanometric soft matter to his studies in biology. Working with colleagues, he has forged polymersomes, membranes made of block copolymers, which are soft, vesicle-like nanoparticles for drug delivery and imaging. Dan has also developed a simulation method of adhesion of receptor-coated nanoparticles to surfaces. The method, Brownian Adhesive Dynamics, once applied to viral binding to cell surfaces, is now being used to understand selectivity and targeting in biological applications of nanoparticles. Currently, he is on the Board of Directors of the Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia, having served as President for four years (2014-2017). ECA provides community-based energy efficiency services and assistance to low-income families throughout Philadelphia, the poorest of the ten largest cities in the United States.

Office Location: Towne 374
Email
@ProfDAHammer
Phone: 215-573-6761


Howard Hu

Howard Hu

  • Professor and Masters Program Chair Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM)

Research Interests:

  • Computational mechanics
  • Fluid mechanics
  • PhD Aerospace Engineering 1992 – University of Minnesota
  • MS Mechanics 1986 – Xian Jiaotong University in China
  • BS Mechanical Engineering 1982 – Zhejiang University in China

Howard’s expertise is in computational fluid dynamics. His research focus is on modeling complex flows involving multiphase and polymeric fluids, particularly flows with solid particles, liquid drops, and gas bubbles. His group has been developing numerical techniques for simulating motions of large numbers of particles in those multiphase systems. They are engaged in understanding and controlling the particulate flows in various microfluidic applications through electrophoresis and dielectrophoresis.

Office Location: Towne 241
Email
Phone: 215-898-8504


Tallid Sinno

Talid Sinno

  • Professor & Director of MSE in Scientific Computing

Research Interests:

  • Molecular simulation
  • Transport process
  • Chemical systems engineering
  • PhD Chemical Engineering 1998 – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • BSE Chemical Engineering 1991 – University of Pennsylvania
  • BA Chemistry 1991 – University of Pennsylvania

Talid’s research program is broadly aimed at the theoretical and computational study of nano and microstructural evolution, particularly nucleation and growth, in condensed matter. He is currently pursuing microdefect formation in crystalline semiconductors, colloidal crystallization of micron-scale particles with tunable interactions, and platelet aggregation in blood. Talid’s lab has developed an extensive suite of simulation tools for studying these phenomena, including large-scale molecular dynamics, multiscale kinetic Monte Carlo, and continuum models.

Office Location: PICS
Email Talid
Phone:215-898-2511


Danielle S. Bassett

Danielle S. Bassett

Professor of Bioengineering (BE) & Electrical and Systems Engineering (ESE)

Research Interests:

  • Complex Systems
  • Network Science
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Systems Biology
  • Dynamical Systems
  • Soft Materials
  • Behavioral Network Science

Email Danielle
@DaniSBassett


John Crocker

Professor Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

  • Directed Self-assembly
  • Active and Soft Matter Physics
  • Cell Biophysics

Office Location: PICS 526
Email John


Chenfanfu Jiang

CIS Assistant Professor, Computer and Information Science

Research Interests: 

  • Physics-based simulation for computer graphics
  • Computational solid and fluid mechanics
  • Scientific computing
Office Location: Levine 303
 
 
 
 
Professor Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
 
 
Research Interests:
  • Nanoscale thermal, fluid, and mass transport
  • Molecular dynamics simulation
  • Laser-based materials characterization
  • Field-directed patterning for nanofabrication
  • Flow measurement in confined geometries
  • Micro- and nanoscale engineering
Office Location: 247 Towne Building
Phone number: 215-898-3254
 

 
Amish Patel

Associate Professor Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Research Interests:

  • Molecular simulation and thermodynamics
  • Soft matter and complex fluids
Office Location: PICS Suite 529
Phone number: 215-898-9682
 

 
George Ilhwan Park
 
 

Assistant Professor Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

Research Interests:

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Computational Mechanics

Office Location: PICS Suite 524
Email George


Pedro Ponte Castañeda

Pedro Ponte Castañeda

Raymond S. Markowitz Faculty Fellow and Professor Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

Research Interests:

  • Variational Methods
  • Homogenization
  • Asymptotic Analysis
  • Nonlinear Composite Materials
  • Multi-Scale Analysis
  • Smart Materials
  • Microstructure Evolution and Localization in Manufacturing Processes
  • Mechanics of Polycrystalline Deformation and Texture Evolution
  • Phase Transformations; Fracture Mechanics; Thermoplastic Elastomers
  • Elastomeric Foams, Reinforced Rubbers; Semi-Crystalline Polymers
  • Magneto-rheological Elastomers

Office Location: 235 Towne Building
Email Pedro


Paris Perdikaris

Paris Perdikaris

Assistant Professor Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

Research Interests:

  • Computational Science and Engineering
  • Machine learning and Data-driven Modeling
  • Design under Uncertainty
  • High-performance Computing

Office Location: PICS 527
Email Paris

 


 
Research Interests:
  • Epigenetics
  • Genomics
  • Systems and Synthetic Bioengineering
  • Experimental Neuroscience
  • Molecular and Cellular Engineering
Phone: 215-898-4121
@CreminsLab
 

Prashant Purohit

Associate Professor Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

Research Interests:

  • Mechanics of materials
  • Biomechanics
  • Computational mechanics
Office Location: PICS Suite 528
Phone: 215-898-3870
 

 

 

Ravi Radhakrishnan

Ravi Radhakrishnan

  • Chair and Professor of the Bioengineering 
  • Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Research interests: 

  • Computational biology
  • Molecular systems biology

Office Location: PICS Suite 522
Email
Phone: 215-898-0487
Website

 

 
 
Celia Reina

William K. Gemmill Term Assistant ProfessorMechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

Research Interests:

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Micro- and Nanomechanics
Office Location: PICS 523
Email Celia
Phone: 215-898-9258
 

 
Rob Riggleman

Assistant Professor Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Research Interests:

  • Molecular modeling
  • Statistical mechanics
  • Polymer glasses
Office: PICS Suite 531
Email Rob
Phone: 215-898-2411
 

Vivek Shenoy

Vivek Shenoy

Eduardo D. Glandt President’s Distinguished Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Bioengineering

Research Interests:
  • Physical properties and growth mechanisms of 2D materials, nanocrystals and nanowires
  • Mechanics of biological systems and materials
  • Materials for energy
  • Contact
Office Location: LRSM 309