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My interest lies in attempting to understand and characterize the manner in which higher order functions emerge in biology through evolution. I wish to combine ideas from machine learning, mathematics, physics, and engineering and control systems in order to gain a better understanding of how the physical and chemical limitations inherent in biological systems can shape biological structure in unexpected and non-trivial ways. One of the key components of biological structure that I wish to understand is that of hierarchy and its interplay with modularity. I believe that these concepts play a key role in biology, and that furthering our understanding of them will allow us to better grasp the fundamental forces at work in evolution.