Pierce Hall Harvard SEAS

Soft Math Lab

Pierce Hall 322
Harvard University
29 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Principal Investigator

Prof. L. Mahadevan
(617) 496-9599

Faculty Coordinator

Nora McDonald
Team Lead for Academic Areas
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Pierce Hall, Room 124
29 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Pronouns: she/her/hers



We currently (as of August 2022) have two openings for post-doctoral fellows to work on specific projects:

1.  Fossil and fracture reconstruction from fragments. The ideal candidate should have experience with using ideas from (discrete) differential geometry, statistics and computational mechanics. The project will involve close links with experimental observations and field studies.

2. Quantify resource consumption and waste production in the collective dynamics of a ~450 person residential community. The project will involve the design and deployment of sensors (using tinyML, with embedded approaches to ensure differential privacy),  statistical analysis of physical, chemical and biological data, mathematical modeling of  processes that span prediction and optimal control, and communication of results with the community, with the aim of guiding policy for climate change adaptation. The ideal candidate should have experience with sensor design and deployment, data analysis, mathematical modeling and strong collaborative skills.

Additionally, we are looking for excellent candidates in the general areas of macroscopic physics, quantitative biology and applied mathematics,  with specific foci that include (i) the physics of morphogenesis, (ii) collective behavior of organisms across scales and (iii) soft matter physics.  Experience with theoretical and experimental methods for the analysis of problems in these fields, including data analysis, geometric signal processing and computational science, along with a deep commitment to working with, and alongside, experimentalists is a must. If you are interested, please send your CV and names of references to Prof. L. Mahadevan directly, and also apply directly through the following website:


We especially encourage applications from under-represented groups.