John Beggs is an associate professor of Physics at Indiana University. He received his B.S. and M.Eng. in Engineering Physics from Cornell University. He then taught math and science at Samoa College while in the U.S. Peace Corps. He later obtained a Ph.D. from Yale University, and did postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health. His lab group investigates how hundreds of brain cells cooperate to process information. He is the co-discoverer of “neuronal avalanches,” a new form of neuronal activity that suggests the brain tunes itself to optimize information processing.