Jake outside BBN amorphous mediumTASBE cells

Jacob Beal
Raytheon BBN Technologies
10 Moulton Street
Cambridge, MA, USA 02138

I am also a Research Affiliate of MIT Biological Engineering and University of Iowa Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Functional blueprint FColorPower hot summer day
              simulationSynthetic biology cascade

Primary E-mail: jakebeal@ieee.org
Corporate E-mail: jake.beal@raython.com - Unreliable
Raytheon's email handling is in flux, so I cannot depend on this address.

Phone: (617) 873-7676
CV (last updated September, 2016)
This page last updated on September 15th, 2016. This page is mirrored at MIT and BBN

My blog, Jake Beal's Next Step, is where I post general thinking about my research, plus updates regarding publications and talks.

Key Ongoing Projects

Other Important Links

About Me

I am a scientist at BBN Technologies.  I am also a research affiliate of MIT, where I did my graduate and postdoctoral work, and of the University of Iowa.

The uniting theme of my research is "engineered self-organization"---the production of predictable aggregate behavior from locally interacting elements.  At present, my investigations of mainly in the domain of spatial computing (an extension of amorphous computing)---the description and control of systems of many devices distributed to fill a space, where the difficulty of moving information between devices is strongly dependent on the distance between them and synthetic biology---the predictive engineering of desired behaviors in living cells.  Previously, I have also done research on building human-like intelligence via collaborative communication.  I also dabble in a number of other things on the side that attract my interest or appear as obstacles in my path. At BBN, I am a member of the Information and Knowledge Technologies business unit. When at MIT, I work with Project MAC and the Weiss Lab. At UIowa, I collaborate with members of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department.

I don't plan to post my non-professional life on this web page.

Aggregate Programming / Synthetic Biology / Spatial Computing (Tutorials/Publications/Talks)   |   Human-Level Intelligence (Publications/Talks)   |   Other Engineered Self-Organization   |   Miscellaneous   |   Professional Activities  |   Students

Research Publications & Talks

Publications and talks most likely to be of interest are marked with a star. This is a fairly complete list, including some early and obsolete work.

Spatial Computing/Amorphous Computing/Synthetic Biology

Tutorials and Survey Talks

I have, at this point, given a number of different tutorials and survey talks on synthetic biology and spatial computing, of varying different lengths and focus. Typically, the spatial computing talks break to demonstration in Proto partway through, using a sequence of examples. This collection of demonstration code may be used to execute the examples.


Talks The reader is advised that most spatial computing talks also involve a live demo that is usually at least indicated in the slides.

Human-Level Intelligence



Engineered Self-Organization



Miscellaneous Work

This is where things that aren't in the main line of my research go. Some of it may be dead ends or re-inventions of the wheel.



Professional Service Activities

Note: this section is usually years out of date.
In addition, I am serving / have recently served on numerous program committees, and as a reviewer for a number of journals and granting agencies.  Details are in my CV.

Supervised Theses:

Rants & Ramblings

These are old and written informally, impolitely, and imprecisely, with the arrogance of a young grad student. Don't take them seriously unless they happen to inspire you...

Just for Fun