The soft matter view to understand collective behavior in natural systems has led to a surge in models to study pattern formation. The functional aspect of these patterns is often understudied and falls under the realm of evolution. In the first part of the talk we will discuss ways by which natural systems can inspire artificial systems for a particular function. We will also look at a possible generalized approach to design using the classified pattern with robust properties that arises out of an integrated view of multiple fields. In the second part of the talk we will briefly discuss approaches for developing geometric materials with novel properties.
Dr. Ganga Prasath is currently a post-doc in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. He is interested in developing adaptable systems inspired by the natural world. His recent work takes a soft-matter view of animal behaviour, expanding the pattern formation paradigm with function in artificial analogues. He received his PhD from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research for his work on hydrodynamics and elasticity and has a Masters degree from Ecole Polytechnique in fluid mechanics. With his background in engineering, physics and applied mathematics, he wants to approach difficult real world questions with an integrated view of these fields.