Andrea Liu

Andrea Liu
Standing Faculty

Hepburn Professor of Physics


Research Areas: Theoretical Soft and Living Matter

(215) 573-7374


  • Arrival as faculty at Penn (2004)
  • Faculty at UCLA in Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (1994-2004)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of California, Santa Barbara (1991-94)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Exxon Research and Engineering Company (1989-91)


Honors include:

Hepburn Professor of Physics (2011-)

Director of Center for Soft and Living Matter

Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professorship in the Natural Sciences (2009-2011)

Member of National Academy of Sciences (2017)
Simons Investigator in Theoretical Physics (2015-2025)
Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (2012)
Hepburn Professor of Physics (2011-)
Member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2010)
Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor in the Natural Sciences (2009-2011)
Fellow of American Physical Society (2004)

Ph.D., Cornell University (1989)
B.A., University of California at Berkeley (1984)

Research Interests

In my research group, we use a combination of analytical theory and computation to study soft and living matter.  In living matter, we are interested in how new and general collective phenomena, often beyond those typically observed in inanimate soft matter, can emerge at the subcellular, cellular and tissue levels.  In soft matter, we are interested in the glass problem, in the learning problem, and in using data science methods to understand the microscopic origins of collective many-body behavior in strongly correlated systems. My collaborators and I worked for several years on the problem of jamming, where we showed that jamming produces solids at an opposite pole from perfect crystals, providing a new way of thinking about the nature of rigidity in disordered solids. The nonequilibrium jamming transition and jammed state thus serve as useful starting points for understanding a broad class of materials. 

Selected Publications
CV (file)
LiuCV2023.pdf398.78 KB