Brennan is a fifth-year Ph.D. student who is studying how complex systems are able to represent, predict, and intervene on their surroundings across a number of different scales—all in ways that appear to minimize surprising states in the future. This information theoretic framework is used to study various phenomena from decision making, to experimental design, to causation and emergence in networks. Brennan’s dissertation—Toward a teleology of complex networks, advised by Professor Alessandro Vespignani—is a philosophical and scientific look at why there seems to be an apparent goal-directedness or purpose to the structure, dynamics, and behavior of complex networks. Brennan received his B.A. in Cognitive Science and Psychology from Swarthmore College in 2014, where he studied the relationship between visual perception, action, and cognition. He makes art under the pseudonym JK Rofling.