Remembering Robert Dirks
Robert Dirks tragically lost his life in the Metro-North train crash in New York on February 3, 2015. As a graduate student at Caltech, Robert made indelible contributions to the field of molecular programming, providing the first experimental demonstration of conditional nucleic acid self-assembly, and drawing on deep mathematical principles to develop computational algorithms that enable researchers around the world to analyze and design nucleic acid molecules, devices, and systems. As a research scientist at D. E. Shaw Research, Robert was working to develop long-time molecular dynamics algorithms to address the grand challenge of simulating protein folding. Brilliant, creative, generous, humble, and kind, Robert was a model scientist and collaborator.