'Digital Alchemist' Seeks Rules of Emergence | Quanta Magazine

Sharon Glotzer has made a number of career-shifting discoveries, each one the kind "that completely changes the way you look at the world," she said, "and causes you to say, 'Wow, I need to follow this.'" A theoretical soft condensed matter physicist by training who now heads a thriving 33-person research group spanning three departments at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Glotzer uses computer simulations to study emergence - the phenomenon whereby simple objects give rise to surprising collective behaviors.