Haiqian Yang is a PhD candidate whose research seeks to broaden understanding of the basic principles governing multicellular system dynamics in space and time. This knowledge is essential to advancing a wide variety of health and bioengineering applications, including tissue regeneration, suppression of tumor invasion, and control of embryo morphogenesis. Haiqian’s work utilizes cutting-edge optical tools to study the spatial and temporal organization of multicellular systems and to explore cellular regulation of mechanical properties in a 3-D developing living system. With the support of his second MathWorks Fellowship, Haiqian will extend this research through two projects. The first project explores the anisotropic nonlinear mechanics of extracellular matrices using “optical tweezers” that he helped to design in MATLAB. The second project, which also draws extensively on MATLAB, builds on Haiqian’s promising studies of the principles controlling the spatial order and dynamics in multicellular systems to better understand how this framework relates to mechanical stresses and to elucidate more abstract physical quantities, such as entropy in a multicellular living system.