Our Team

Prof. Niayesh Afshordi (University of Waterloo and Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics)

Afshordi obtained his PhD in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University in 2004. He was then an inaugural postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Theory and Computation at Harvard University, and then a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario. In 2009, he joined the department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo, where he is currently Associate Professor, jointly appointed as Associate Faculty in Cosmology and Gravitation at the neighbouring Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He has published 88 articles in peer-reviewed journals, with over 4000 citations (Google Scholar).

He has won several international awards and recognitions, including the Buchalter Cosmology prize in 2016 and 2019 from the American Astronomical Society, the Vainu Bappu Gold Medal

in 2011 from the Astronomical Society of India, and the Early Researcher Award in 2011 from the Government of Ontario. Furthermore, he has been awarded close to a million dollars in research funding from the Canadian Federal and Provincial funding agencies over the past 10 years.  

Afshordi’s research program focuses on interdisciplinary approaches that shed novel light onto fundamental problems in physics and astrophysics. He has made highly influential contributions to both theoretical and observational aspects of cosmology and astrophysics. These range from novel statistical methods to extract small signals by using cross-correlation techniques to novel models for big bang, dark energy, black holes, and quantum gravity. His research has been featured in numerous popular media outlets such as the covers of Scientific American and Science Magazine, as well as the Guardian and the New York Times

Prof. Benjamin Holder (Grand Valley State University)

Holder obtained his PhD in Physics  from the University of Texas, Austin in 2007. He then held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Lisbon, and Ryerson University in Canada, prior to joining Grand Valley State University in 2013 as an Assistant Professor of Physics.  

Holder’s current research focus is on mathematical and computational modeling of infectious disease. In particular, he specializes in the analysis of  experimental datasets to understand virus infection dynamics. He also has experience and interests in statistical physics, astrophysics, nonlinear dynamics and quantum physics.

Dr. Mohammad Bahrami (Wolfram Research Institute)

Mohammad Bahrami received his PhD in Physical Chemistry from Sharif University, Tehran, in 2011, and after a postdoctoral position at ICTP, Italy, joined the Wolfram Research Corporation. He is a quantum researcher and lecturer, specializing in physical chemistry, quantum theory, statistical mechanics, and stochastic modeling. He is skilled in the modeling and management of interdisciplinary projects. 

In addition to the Gold Medals in the National and International Chemistry Olympiads, Bahrami has won several academic fellowships, such the visiting fellowship from the Descartes centre in Utrecht and Graduate Fellowship from the Iranian National Elite Foundation. 

Dr. Daniel Lichtblau (Wolfram Research Institute)

Lichtblau obtained his A.B. from Harvard, and then his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991. Since then, he has been a researcher at the Wolfram Research Corporation. He has broad experience in computer programming and other facets of computational science. Now working on Research and Development at Wolfram Research, he primarily focuses on the computational engine of their flagship product, Mathematica.