Avishek Das

2021-2022 Graduate Student Fellow

Previous Faculty Advisor: Professor David Limmer

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, AMOLF Biochemical Networks group, Amsterdam


Avishek works in uncovering general physical principles for nonequilibrium self-organization in living and autonomous systems. Currently, he is exploring whether information flow between a bacterial cell and its environment constrains chemotactic performance, using analytical theory, numerical simulations and efficient algorithms for computing the exact mutual information between signal and response trajectories. He seeks to rationalize bacterial behavior as autonomous machines navigating noisy nutrient gradients by using environmental information effectively.

During his PhD with the Limmer group at Berkeley, Avishek designed novel numerical paradigms for the optimal control of nanoscale molecular and colloidal systems driven out of thermal equilibrium. His approach, Variational Path Sampling, yielded new and efficient algorithms, to sample rare fluctuations and reactive events in nonequilibrium simulations, using tools from reinforcement learning. He also developed an inverse design algorithm for the self-assembly of colloids in nonequilibrium conditions, for optimizing arbitrary structural and dynamical order parameters. As a Kavli fellow in collaboration with the Ginsberg group, he computationally investigated the dynamics of nucleation, growth and annealing of superlattices with strong electronic coupling, from the self-assembly of gold nanocrystals.

In 2020-21, Avishek also co-founded, designed and taught a yearly Math Bootcamp for physical chemistry PhD students at UC Berkeley.