About Me

Andrew D. Maris is a PhD Candidate at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center advised by Cristina Rea, Robert Granetz, and Earl Marmar. As a plasma physicist and data scientist, Andrew leverages machine learning to understand, predict, and avoid disruptive instabilities in tokamak plasmas. His interests also extend to economic and policy questions, where he has studied the impact disruptions may have on the cost of fusion electricity.

Education & Experience

Andrew received a Bachelor’s degree from Carleton College in 2019 with a major in Physics and a minor in Public Policy. At Carleton, he researched quantum chaos with Professor Arjendu Pattanayak, which inspired his TEDx talk What Jurassic Park Gets Wrong About Chaos Theory. After graduating, Andrew performed research at the National Ignition Facility with mentor Dr. Shahab Khan, identifying correlations in the performance of inertial confinement fusion experiments using data-driven techniques. He then briefly worked on photonics and quantum technology at L3Harris in Palm Bay, Florida, before starting his PhD in the Nuclear Science and Engineering Department at MIT.


Today, Andrew’s research focuses on the “density limit” instability in tokamaks, one of the key limiting factors in these types of fusion experiments. He explores data-driven methods to potentially unlock a deeper understanding of the physics of the instability and enable real-time instability avoidance for high density experiments.