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Published on Dec 20, 2016
"A Future Written by Molecular Programmers" Lulu Qian, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, is interested in engineering molecular systems with intelligent behavior: specifically, exploring the principles of molecular programs in nature with the end goal of recreating synthetic molecular programs that approach the complexity and sophistication of life itself. To this end, she works on designing and constructing nucleic-acid systems from scratch that exhibit programmable behaviors from the basic level—such as recognizing molecular events from the environment, processing information, making decisions, and taking actions—to the advanced level, such as learning and evolving.
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.