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Published on Dec 20, 2016
"Synthetic Biology: Programming Cellular Behavior Using DNA" Richard Murray (BS ’85), the Thomas E. and Doris Everhart Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems and Bioengineering, is a leading expert in the field of control theory, an interdisciplinary branch of engineering and mathematics that deals with the behavior of dynamic systems and how they may be modified. Most recently, Murray has worked with computer scientists to explore the potential role of control theory in biological, biochemical, and biomolecular applications. His research group is primarily focused on synthetic biology, with additional focus on electromechanical systems and the software that sits on top of them. In July of this year, Murray was named to the Defense Innovation Advisory Board, a 15-member panel established to advise the Department of Defense that includes Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, and Marne Levine, chief operating officer of Instagram.
The Caltech Alumni Association held a day-long event to explore the ways in which computational thinking at Caltech is disrupting science and engineering, creating entirely new disciplines with "CS+X". From developing new paradigms for computation—quantum computing and DNA computing—to pushing the boundaries of machine learning and statistics in ways that transform fields like astronomy, chemistry, neuroscience, and biology, Caltech faculty are pioneering new disciplines at the interface of computer science, and science and engineering.