Prize Recipient


Simon Segert
Princeton University


As far back as I can remember, I have been interested in mathematics and physics. I realize that I was at first drawn to the æsthetic aspect, what Gauss called “patterns more permanent because they are made with ideas”. But I now am starting to understand the effectiveness of combining physical and mathematical techniques in answering fundamental questions in disciplines that had once seemed remote. The full power and range of this idea were recently crystallized for me when I saw a talk given jointly by the neuroscientists Jonathan Cohen and David Tank. Professors Cohen and Tank described their field as essentially a “bridge” between philosophical attempts to understand the workings of the mind and scientific efforts to understand the circuitry of the brain.  I found his next point particularly illuminating: that the complexity of this “bridge” necessitated an integrated understanding of physical phenomena in the brain and advanced mathematical techniques.

I currently attend Princeton University (where Cohen and Tank are both professors), where I have begun to pursue my interests in both physics for its own sake, and the connections between physics and neuroscience.