Alyssa M. Adams, PhD

What makes life different than non-life?

What does it mean for something to be "alive" or have life-like aspects? Is it possible for a newly discovered exoplanet to harbor "mostly-life"? Perhaps life is a specific instance of a generalized phenomenon of complex systems.

All my research is motivated by these questions. At the same time, technology is providing us with more data than ever before, specifically data on human activity. Understanding how to process this data in a meaningful, mechanistically-informative way has the potential to reveal more about living systems than ever before. My goal is to develop analytic tools that accurately model complex behaviors seen in big data, beyond machine learning techniques.