Prof. Alber’s research interests include mathematical and computational biology, multi-scale modeling, nonlinear diffusion systems, and scientific computing.
While growing and dividing on the surface of laboratory agar plate assays, many different motile bacteria exhibit a coordinated motion known as swarming. Although a swarm has no leader and resembles in that way a school of fish or a flock of birds, the cells move in a way that never blocks the motion of another cell. Essentially, while we know bacteria (like M. xanthus) can work their way out of dense swarms, it is not understood how they do it. Prof. Alber and his collaborators developed combined simulation and laboratory approaches for studying how members of any dense bacterial swarm spread efficiently while being able to perceive and interfere minimally with the motion of others, resulting in better understanding of the spread of infection.
Prof. Alber is also studying blood clot formation using coupled mechanical models of fibrin network, sub-cellular element models of blood cells and blood flow models.
1990 - Ph.D. in Mathematics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
advisor: J.E. Marsden, Caltech
1983 - Honors M.S. in Applied Mathematics, Department of Applied Mathematics,
Moscow Institute of Technology