Santa Fe Institute


Research Themes

Research Projects

Interest Areas

  • Biomolecular Information and Evolvability
  • Computational Historical Linguistics
  • Money, Markets, and Institutions
  • Origin of Life
  • Physical and Chemical Self-Organization

D. Eric Smith

External Professor

Research Professor, Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology


D. Eric Smith received the Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology in 1987, and a Ph.D. in Physics from The University of Texas at Austin in 1993, with a dissertation on problems in string theory and high-temperature superconductivity. From 1993 to 2000 he worked in physical, nonlinear, and statistical acoustics at the Applied Research Labs: U. T. Austin, and at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. From 2000 he has worked at the Santa Fe Institute on problems of self-organization in thermal, chemical, and biological systems. A focus of his current work is the statistical mechanics of the transition from the geochemistry of the early earth to the first levels of biological organization, with some emphasis on the emergence of the metabolic network.