Faculty

Babak Hassibi

Mose and Lillian S. Bohn Professor of Electrical Engineering

Hassibi's research spans various aspects of information theory, signal processing, control theory, and machine learning. He has made contributions to the theory and practice of wireless communications and wireless networks, as well as to robust control, adaptive filtering and neural networks, network information theory, coding for control, phase retrieval, structured signal recovery, high dimensional statistics, epidemic spread in complex networks, and DNA micro-arrays. On the mathematical side, he is interested in linear algebra, with an emphasis on fast algorithms, random matrices, and group representation theory.

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Thomas H. Heaton

Professor of Engineering Seismology

Professor Heaton focuses on engineering seismology, and earthquake rupture physics.  Special focus on earthquake early warning; understanding ground motions that cause building collapse; multi-scale self-organizing systems in dynamic rupture.

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Michael R. Hoffmann

John S. and Sherry Chen Professor of Environmental Science

Hoffmann's group studies many facets of environmental science including: environmental chemistry, cloud and aerosol chemistry, chemical kinetics, semiconductor photocatalysis, sonochemistry, electrochemistry, radiation chemistry, advanced oxidation technologies, chemical catalysis applied to pollution control, photochemistry, chemical reaction mechanisms relevant to environmental systems.

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Thomas Y. Hou

Charles Lee Powell Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics

Professor Hou focuses on multiscale problems arising from geophysical applications and fluid dynamics, the Millennium Problem on the 3D incompressible Navier-Strokes equations, model reduction for stochastic problems with high dimensional input variables, and adaptive data analysis.

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Melany L. Hunt

Dotty and Dick Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Hunt focuses on the transport and mechanics of multiphase systems including granular and particulate flows, fluidized beds, porous media, and related energy systems. 

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William L. Johnson

Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Engineering and Applied Science

William Johnson's research includes studies of metallic materials including liquid alloys, bulk metallic glasses, nanostructured metals, and metal-matrix composites. Also, applications of metallic glasses as structural materials in sporting goods, aircraft, and military hardware, etc.

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Dennis M. Kochmann

Professor of Aerospace

Professor Kochmann's research combines theoretical, computational, and experimental solid mechanics to study the link between microstructure and macroscopic properties of a variety of engineering materials. One of his areas of research is the simulation of microstructures in crystalline solids (such as metals). In contrast to many current phenomenological theories, Professor Kochmann's research aims at physics-based and hence predictive multiscale models applicable to polycrystal plasticity and twinning. Another of his research areas is the design of novel composite materials with tunable performance, for instance, materials whose stiffness and damping can be tuned by orders of magnitude, reaching viscoelastic stiffness greater than that of a diamond. He designs these materials using a careful composite architecture and utilizing phases with so-called negative-stiffness mechanisms.

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Victoria Kostina

Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering

Victoria Kostina's research spans information theory, coding, and wireless communications. Her current efforts explore one of the most exciting avenues in today's information theory: the nonasymptotic regime. Leveraging tools from the theory of random processes and concentration of measure, she pursues fundamental insight into modern delay-constrained communication systems.

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Nadia Lapusta

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Geophysics

Professor Lapusta studies friction and fracture phenomena on both fundamental and practical levels.  Her work focuses on analytical and numerical modeling that incorporates and explains experimental findings. She has a special interest in failure of geomaterials in the presence of fluids, physics of earthquakes, and induced seismicity, where frictional faulting and cracking are key ingredients.

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Jared R. Leadbetter

Professor of Environmental Microbiology

Leadbetter’s research program at Caltech focuses on interspecies microbial interactions and has two distinct thrusts. One is lignocellulose conversion by the complex microbial communities present in the guts of termites. The other is the biodegradation of (and related research on) an important class of bacterial signaling molecules, acyl-homoserine lactones.

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Steven Low

Frank J. Gilloon Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Power systems, cyber-physical systems, network architecture, energy-efficient networking.

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Alireza Marandi

Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics

Professor Marandi’s research is focused on fundamental technological developments in Nonlinear Photonics through exploring the frontiers of ultrafast optics, optical frequency combs, quantum optics, optical information processing, mid-infrared photonics, and laser spectroscopy. His team works on realization of novel nonlinear photonic devices and systems for applications ranging from sensing to unconventional computing and information processing, as well as advancing the theoretical understanding of them.

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Beverley J. McKeon

Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics

Professor McKeon explores new ways to manipulate or control the boundary layer—the thin layer between a material and flowing air—to improve flow characteristics, such as a reduction of drag, noise, and structural loading or expansion of vehicle performance envelopes during travel. The unifying theme to her work is an experimental and theoretical approach at the intersection of fluid mechanics, control, and materials science to investigate fundamental flow questions, address efficiency and performance challenges in aerospace vehicle design, and respond to the energy conservation imperative in novel and efficient ways.

 

Specific interests include:

Modeling and control of wall-bounded flows using smart, morphing surfaces. Resolvent analysis as a tool for modeling turbulent, transitional and controlled flows; rigorous, system-level tools for understanding flow physics and design of flow control schemes. Assimilation of experimental data for efficient low-order flow modeling.

Measurement, definition and description of high Reynolds number wall turbulence. Interdisciplinary approaches to experimental flow manipulation for performance enhancement and understanding of fundamental flow physics; application of new materials to flow control.

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Dan Meiron

Fletcher Jones Professor of Aeronautics and Applied and Computational Mathematics

Professor Meiron's research focuses on computation and modelling of basic fluid mechanical phenomena. Particular interests include shock driven flow instabilities, turbulence, simulation approaches for high strain rate solid mechanics. He is also interested on development of adaptive numeriocal methods for such flows that are suitable for high performance computation.

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Austin Minnich

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics

Professor Minnich researches the physics and engineering of nanoscale heat transport. Nanostructured materials have novel thermal properties with applications in energy such as for thermoelectric materials, which convert heat directly to electricity. Minnich uses experimental techniques, including ultrafast optical experiments, to study transport at the length and time scales of the energy carriers themselves. These experiments measure properties of the energy carriers that are lost at macroscopic scales, allowing for a more complete understanding of nanoscale transport physics. Minnich also uses these results to design novel materials and thermal devices, such as more efficient thermoelectric materials and devices for thermal energy storage.

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Richard M. Murray

Thomas E. and Doris Everhart Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems and Bioengineering

Research in Richard Murray's group is in the application of feedback and control to networked systems, with applications in biology and autonomy. Current projects include novel control system architectures, biomolecular feedback systems and networked control systems.

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Stevan Nadj-Perge

Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science

Stevan Nadj-Perge is interested in development of mesoscopic devices for applications in quantum information processing. Such devices also provide a playground for exploring exotic electronic states at (sub)-nano length scales. In his research, he is using scanning tunneling microscopy and electrical transport measurement techniques at cryogenic temperatures.

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Michael Ortiz

Frank and Ora Lee Marble Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering

Professor Ortiz's research interests include solid mechanics, computational mechanics, and nonlinear and failure processes in solids.

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Houman Owhadi

Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Control and Dynamical Systems

Professor Owhadi’s research concerns the exploration of interplays between numerical approximation, statistical inference and learning  from a game theoretic perspective. Whereas the process of discovery is usually based on a combination of trial and error,  insight and plain guesswork, his research is motivated by the facilitation/automation possibilities  emerging from these interplays.

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Lior Pachter

Bren Professor of Computational Biology and Computing and Mathematical Sciences

Professor Patcher is a computational biologist working in genomics. His career began in comparative genomics, and initially was interested in genome alignment, annotation, and the determination of conserved regions using phylogenetic methods. More recently he's become focused on functional genomics, which includes answering questions about the function and interaction of DNA, RNA and protein products. He's particularly interested in applications of high-throughput sequencing to RNA biology. Genomics requires the development of algorithms, statistical methodology and mathematical foundations, and a major part of his research is therefore on methods.

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