Joshua A. Anderson, Ph.D.

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I am a Research Area Specialist working with Sharon C. Glotzer in the Center for Assembly Science & Engineering at the University of Michigan. I study soft matter systems - hard particle self-assembly, polymer self-assembly, active matter, melting in two dimensions and other related topics.

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Software Engineering

I design and develop particle simulation and analysis software. Some of the tools I develop are open source and in use by thousands, other are in house group codes used by Glotzer group. I apply modern software engineering practices to all codes I develop, including good object oriented design, extensive unit tests, and comprehensive documentation.

Recent Publications

Nanoparticle Telechelics


We use a polymer tether to geometrically constrain a pair of nanoparticles into a nanoparticle telechelic. Our simulation results show how architectural features control the self-assembled morphologies. HOOMD-blue powers these simulations on NVIDIA GPUs.

Massively Parallel Monte Carlo

We develop a massively parallel method to perform Monte Carlo simulations of off-lattice particles. Our GPU implementation is 18 times faster on an NVIDIA K20 GPU than on an 8-core Intel CPU. In our initial work, we apply our method to large scale simulations of hard disks in 2D and confirm the existence of the hexatic phase.

Massively parallel Monte Carlo

Shape filling

Optimal filling of shapes

We propose filling as a type of placement problem similar to covering and packing. Filling is the optimal placement of N overlapping objects entirely inside an arbitrary shape so as to cover the most interior volume. We attack the problem with a Genetic Algorithm and develop heuristics to efficiently find solutions in polygons.