Julian Kates-Harbeck

  • Program Year: 4
  • Academic Institution: Harvard University
  • Field of Study: Physics
  • Academic Advisor: Michael Desai
  • Practicum(s):
    Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (2016)
  • Degree(s):
    M.S. Computer Science, Stanford University, 2014; B.S. Physics, Stanford University, 2013

Summary of Research

Using tools from statistical physics, stochastic processes and computer science, I currently study evolutionary dynamics in structured populations. In particular, we are working on characterizing the behavior of cooperative strategies on networks similar to those found in real biological, spatial or social settings. This involves studying the dynamics of a mutant or generic "infection" (biological, social, economical or other) spreading throughout a population, whose fitness can depend nonlinearly on its own frequency within the population. We are also investigating the success of such cooperative strategies under the influence of more complex network effects such as indirect reciprocity, where reputation mechanisms can further influence the evolutionary stability of cooperation.


Kates-Harbeck, Julian, Samuel Totorica, Jonathan Zrake, and Tom Abel. "Simplex-in-cell technique for collisionless plasma simulations." Journal of Computational Physics 304 (2016): 231-251.

Kates-Harbeck, Julian, Antoine Tilloy, and Mara Prentiss. "Simplified biased random walk model for RecA-protein-mediated homology recognition offers rapid and accurate self-assembly of long linear arrays of binding sites."Physical Review E 88.1 (2013): 012702.

Vlassakis, J., Feinstein, E., Yang, D., Tilloy, A., Weiller, D., Kates-Harbeck, J., ... & Prentiss, M. (2013). Tension on dsDNA bound to ssDNA-RecA filaments may play an important role in driving efficient and accurate homology recognition and strand exchange. Physical Review E, 87.3 (2013), 032702.

Kates-Harbeck, Julian. “Computational and Experimental Study of Electromagnetic Wave Heating in Magnetized Plasmas.” (Undergraduate Honors Thesis). Dept. of Physics, Stanford University (2013). http://purl.stanford.edu/xr765qk4065

Kates-Harbeck, Julian. "Galaxy Image Processing and Morphological Classification Using Machine Learning." Bulletin of the American Physical Society 57 (2012).

Kates-Harbeck, Julian. "Fractional Resonances in Ion Bernstein Wave Heating in a Helicon Plasma Discharge." Bulletin of the American Physical Society 56 (2011).


Wallace-Noyes Fellowship, Harvard University (2016)

DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (2014)

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (declined). (2014)

NDSEG Fellowship (declined). (2014)

B.S. conferred with Departmental Honors in Physics (Stanford University). (2013)

B.S. conferred with Distinction (Stanford University). (2013)

Best Presentation Award (Atlanta, GA): Awarded at the 2012 April APS meeting in Atlanta, GA. (2012)

Conference Grant (Salt Lake City, UT): Merit-based funding to attend and present at annual meeting of the Division of Plasma Physics of the APS. (2011)