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Research Fellow, Michigan Society of Fellows
Department of Mathematics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems
University of Michigan

I am an applied mathematician and general scientist with a specialization in dynamical systems, networks, and algorithms. I use methods from these and other areas of mathematics to study problems in a range of fields, including biology, ecology, sociology, linguistics, engineering, and philosophy. I am especially interested in problems that are both mathematically interesting and of strong fundamental or practical significance in some clear and direct sense. (I find this constraint limiting enough that drawing from a broad range of fields is helpful.) For each problem, I try to arrive at a new solution by building up from fundamental principles.

Oh, do not ask, "What is it?" Let us go and make our visit.
Photo of a Bookshelf
–T.S. Eliot, Prufrock

He received a B.S. in Chemical Physics and B.A. in Mathematics from Rice University in 2005, earning the highest GPA in his graduating class.  After graduation, he was recruited and hired by Nobel laureate Richard Smalley to conduct research at the Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology.  He has also conducted research at the Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the FAS Center for Systems Biology at Harvard University.

In 2006, he received an NSF-IGERT Fellowship from Cornell University and completed a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at Cornell in 2011 with a dissertation on simple mathematical models of social behavior.  His doctoral advisor was Steven Strogatz.

In 2011, he was awarded a four-year Junior Fellowship in the Michigan Society of Fellows and joined the Mathematics Department at the University of Michigan in a fixed-term appointment as a T.H. Hildebrandt Research Assistant Professor.

His research focuses on both foundational and practical problems that can be studied by combining data with techniques from nonlinear systems, network analysis, and other areas of applied mathematics.  His work has been featured in Scientific American, The Los Angeles Times, BBC Future, and many other popular news sources. While not working, Seth enjoys skiing, juggling, playing piano, cooking, and thinking deeply about philosophical topics.  He has an Erdös number of 3.

For additional information:

Link to Curriculum Vitae