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Professor Damien Hicks

Professor
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States; MS, Stanford University, United States; BS, Stanford University, United States

Biography

I lead the Complex Systems group in the Optical Sciences Centre. Through a dialogue between biological questions, physical models, and statistical methods my group develops disciplined ways to extract mechanistic insights from high-dimensional data. I am particularly interested in how one identifies the objects of interest in a complex system or dataset. Symmetries are a powerful organising principle here and we have shown how representation theory reveals the stages of decision-making in cell lineage trees. We have also explored how symmetry invariants in the parameter space of a neural population model can uncover the physiological drivers of brain dynamics. I received my BS (1993) and MS (1993) from Stanford University and my PhD (1999) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Applied Plasma Physics. From 2000-2014 I was a post-doc then staff physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. After returning to Australia, I was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow from 2015-2019. 

Research interests

Computational Biology; Applied Statistics; Complex Systems

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

Honours

Available to supervise honours students.

Honours topics and outlines

Molecular networks: Molecular networks underpin all living systems, bringing robustness and reliability to life. Yet when studied at the level of a single cell, these biological circuits are noisy and unpredictable. Projects are available to study the interplay of noise and function in cancer and cell death.

Fields of Research

  • Biological Physics - 510501
  • Atomic, Molecular And Optical Physics - 510200
  • Nuclear And Plasma Physics - 510600

Teaching areas

Statistical Mechanics;Classical Mechanics

Publications

Also published as: Hicks, Damien; Hicks, D.; Hicks, D. G.; Hicks, Damien G.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2021: What makes an activity? Learning logical rules from contributing events *; APR Internship Program
  • 2020: 3D Nanofabrication and Nanocharacterisation facility *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme
  • 2014: Ultrafast Photonic Electron Microscopy: Visualising dynamics at the nanoscale *; ARC Future Fellowships

* Chief Investigator


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