Oliver Xie

Oliver Xie is a PhD candidate whose work combines chemical, biochemical, and genetic engineering with cutting-edge computational approaches to explore protein materials. Specifically, Oliver is studying block copolymers and the unique properties arising from their self-assembled morphologies. As a MathWorks Fellow, he is developing a novel self-consistent field theory (SCFT), which predicts the self-assembly and phase behavior of sequence-defined polymers, and he is using MATLAB tools to uncover the relationship between polymer sequence and structure. His SCFT enables the representation of a polymer sequence as a continuous function, which dramatically simplifies simulations of complex polymers, including tapered polymers, polymers with 20 or more blocks, and even disordered proteins. By demonstrating that the useful dimensionality of sequence-controlled design is far lower than the actual experimental dimensionality explored in traditional high-throughput and ML-driven approaches, Oliver’s work enables smarter experiments for the discovery of new materials. Next steps in his work include building a design-test-build cycle for sequence-controlled polymers to discover unique 3-D nanostructures. Through his work, Oliver is addressing core challenges in polymer science and offering powerful new insights into the fundamentals of self- assembly.



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