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Manu Prakash

Associate Professor of Bioengineering, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Associate Professor, by courtesy, of Oceans and of Biology
We use interdisciplinary approaches including theory and experiments to understand how computation is embodied in biological matter. Examples include cognition in single cell protists and morphological computing in animals with no neurons and origins of complex behavior in multi-cellular systems. Broadly, we invent new tools for studying non-model organisms with significant focus on life in the ocean - addressing fundamental questions such as how do cells sense pressure or gravity? Finally, we are dedicated towards inventing and distributing “frugal science” tools to democratize access to science (previous inventions used worldwide: Foldscope, Abuzz), diagnostics of deadly diseases like malaria and convening global citizen science communities to tackle planetary scale environmental challenges such as mosquito surveillance or plankton surveillance by citizen sailors mapping the ocean in the age of Anthropocene.


Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Field of Study: Applied Physics (MAS) (2008)
M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Field of Study: Applied Physics (MAS) (2004)
B.Tech, Indian Institute of Technology, Field of Study: Computer Science and Engineering (2002)