Michael P. Brenner
Glover Professor of Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics
Michael P. Brenner is the Glover Professor of Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics within the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Brenner was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study during 2011-12. Along with colleague David Weitz, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics, he is a co-creator of the famed general education science course at Harvard College “Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter,” which debuted in the fall of 2010. The course uses food and cooking to explicate fundamental principles in applied physics and engineering. Brenner received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1994, and came to Harvard in 2001 after six years as a faculty member in applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Over the past decade, Brenner has focused primarily on theoretical modeling in physical sciences and engineering. His research has examined the breaking of fluid droplets; sonoluminescence, the production of light from very high-pressure gas bubbles in liquid; the sedimentation of small particles; and electrospinning, a materials technique for producing small fibers. In addition to his appointment at SEAS, Brenner is a Kavli Scholar at the Kavli Institute for Bionano Science & Technology at Harvard University, a faculty associate at the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and a participant in the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Harvard.
In recent years, Brenner’s work has moved toward biological questions and biological phenomena. Current projects range from the connection between evolution and physiology (primarily in voltage gated ion channels, and hemoglobin), to the mechanism of transport in the nuclear pore, to issues having to do with understanding the very large systems of differential equations that commonly arise in biological modeling.