Alex M. Jurgens, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher
Complexity Sciences Center
University of California, Davis

amjurgens (at) ucdavis (dot) edu


Google Scholar


A fractal set of causal states.

My research interests, summarized

For more detail and some fun visualizations please see my Research page.

A little bit about me

The majestic beagle.

I am currently a Postdoc at University of California, Davis, with the Complexity Sciences Center. My advisor is Jim Crutchfield. My work at Davis has focused on developing tools for the study of infinite state hidden Markov models, focusing on the Shannon entropy rate and the divergence of statistical complexity. This is accomplished by recasting the hidden Markov models as chaotic dynamical systems and applying tools from dynamical systems to study the information theoretic properties of the underlying process. This theoretical work has found has found application to quantum measurement of single-qubit sources, as well as in the study of the exact thermodynamic functioning of Maxwellian-ratchet style information engines.

Before coming to Davis, I attended Marietta College from 2011 to 2015, where I earned a BS in Physics and a BS in Math. During my undergraduate years I was lucky to be mentored by (the sadly late) Cavendish McKay, who introduced me to the study of chaotic systems. For this, I cannot thank him enough. Prior to this introduction, I was focused on optics: as an undergraduate I spent one summer at the ENS Cachan Quantum and Molecular Photonics Laboratory (LPQM) in Paris through the Optics in the City of Light iREU at the University of Michigan, and another at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LSLC) through the Department of Energy SULI program.

Although I have been lucky to live and travel around the world, I was raised in the Bay Area. My pronouns are she/her. When I am not working on research, I am dancing ballet, out rock climbing, or cuddling up with my 13 year old beagle, Abby. If you're interested in keeping up with me on social media, my twitter is (semi-) active.


Journal Articles

    Ambiguity Rate of Hidden Markov Processes
    Jurgens A., Crutchfield J.

    Divergent Predictive Memory: The Statistical Complexity Dimension of Stationary, Ergodic Finite-State Hidden Markov Processes
    Jurgens A., Crutchfield J.
    Chaos 31, 083114, 2021.

    Shannon Entropy Rate of Hidden Markov Processes
    Jurgens A., Crutchfield J.
    J. Stat. Phys., 183 (2), 1-18, 2020.

    Functional thermodynamics of Maxwellian ratchets: Constructing and deconstructing patterns, randomizing and derandomizing behaviors
    Jurgens A., Crutchfield J.
    Phys. Rev. Research 2, 033334. 2020 Aug 28

    Measurement-Induced Randomness and Structure in Controlled Qubit Processes
    Venegas-Li A., Jurgens A., Crutchfield J.
    Phys. Rev. E, 102(4):040102(R), 2020.


      Quantifying and comparing 'memory' in biological, ecological, physical, and socio-economic systems
      Jurgens A., Kraay A., Weissman J., Dong J., Pangallo M., Wu S., Stopnitzky S., Zhan S.H., Gurevich Y., Liu Y.
      Sante Fe Institute Complex Systems Summer School 2017 Proceedings

      Entropy in Written English.
      Jurgens, A.
      Class proceedings from the 2016 The Physics of Information course at University of California, Davis.

    My attempt to spiritually bring back web rings

    Friends, Mentors, Acquaintances

    Various other Interesting Things