A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Charlie studied physics and mathematics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. There he did research on chaos (with J. C. Sprott) and on cellular automata (with David Griffeath), and he raced with the UW cycling team

From Madison he moved to another town known for its cycling, Davis, CA, for graduate school in applied mathematics. In his PhD research, under the supervision of Raissa D’Souza, Charlie studied mathematical models of various phenomena in complex systems, including cascades in networks, social contagion, innovation, and systemic risk in electric power grids and in financial systems. His more empirical research has explored how alliances affect trade among countries and the extent to which the Arab Spring was driven by external factors or by contagion among countries.

Charlie has also contributed scientific content to Wolfram|Alpha as an R&D Fellow at Wolfram Research. For an example of these contributions, try typing logistic map in Wolfram|Alpha.

An avid traveler, Charlie has traveled across Asia, studied abroad in Granada, Spain, and done research stints at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea; at SAMSI in Research Triangle, NC; at Microsoft Research in New York City, NY; and at the Isaac Newton Institute at Cambridge University.

Starting in fall 2014, he will continue to model financial crises and to study other questions related to systemic risk as a postdoctoral fellow affiliated with Columbia University’s Center for the Management of Systemic Risk, funded by a James S. McDonnell Fellowship for Studying Complex Systems.