Yanbo Zhang

PhD student @ eLIFE Lab, Arizona State University

web builder

Yanbo Zhang, Ph.D. student @ Geology Science, ASU.

My research interest is complexity, and my background is condensed matter physics. This means I like using physical concepts to study complex systems, and hoping to find some laws that could be universal for complex systems.
My current research is about the Physics of Life. Life is complex, brilliant, and intelligent. What makes life be so? Can life be found in other planets? Can life be simulated? And finally, what is life? What is consciousness?
The researches above are all driven by my interest and curiosity, so I also interested in ancient music and 3d modeling. And, strictly speaking, all of my actions are tend to provide more possibilities for my future paths.

I'm also a member of Swarma Club.

Education & Research

Period  Institute
2013 - 2018BScSchool of Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, China
2017Visiting StudentKarolinska Institutet, Sweden 
2018 - nowPhD. StudenteLIFE Lab, Arizona State University, USA
  • Identify Universal Turing Machine in Cellular Automata - By considering particles in Cellular Automata, I developed a method to identify universal cellular automata, i.e., simple rules that equal to computers.
  • Casual Emergence - Are there a special scale that can describe our universe in a best way? Casual emergence research, is trying to find a proper coarse graining that have the most clear casual structure. This research can help us get better understanding of the origin of boundary, and, therefore, origin of all "things".
  • Integrated Information Theory - Intergrated information theory (IIT) is a potential theory for consciousness with clear mathematical structure. We want to find the relation between energy, complexity, and IIT. This will help us understand why we have consciousness, and tell us does a computer have consciousness.


Proficient on Wolfram Mathematica, Python, C/C++, JavaScript, Algorithms, and 3D Modeling


Wolfram Mathematica

Wolfram Mathematica is a language for scientific computation and data analyse. I have 5-year experience on this language.



Working with Numpy, Pytorch for data analyse and machine learning.



5-year experience on C/C++ for scientific computation and data analyse.



I had use d3.js to make online simulators for Cellular automata and Game of Life.



Proficient on data structure and algorithm, like dynamic programming, graph algorithms, genetic algorithm, etc.


3D Modeling

4-year experience on 3D modeling, sculpture, and rendering on Blender.


Yanbo Zhang, Definition and Identification of Information Storage and Processing Capabilities as Possible Markers for Turing-universality in Cellular Automata, Complex Systems

Hector Zenil, Yanbo Zhang (co-first author), Narsis A. Kiani, “Observability and Sensitivity in the Reconstruction of Generative Models of Dynamical Systems,” submitted

Wu Yiming, Yukun Wu, Chao Ma, Yanbo Zhang, Huaiyi Ding, Nan Pan, and Xiaoping Wang, The role of few-layer TiOx surfactant: remarkably-enhanced succeeding radial growth and properties of ZnO nanowires, Journal of Materials Chemistry C


PSF 234
Arizona State University 
Tempe, AZ, U.S.


Email: Zhang.Yanbo@asu.edu