Faculty

Oskar J. Painter

John G Braun Professor of Applied Physics and Physics; Fletcher Jones Foundation Co-Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute

Professor Oskar Painter's research interests are in nanophotonics, quantum optics, and optomechanics for applications in precision measurement and quantum information science.

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Sergio Pellegrino

Joyce and Kent Kresa Professor of Aerospace and Civil Engineering; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Research Scientist; Co-Director, Space-Based Solar Power Project

Professor Pellegrino's research focuses on lightweight structures and particularly on problems involving packaging, deployment, shape control and stability.

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Pietro Perona

Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering

Professor Perona's research focusses on vision: how do we see and how can we build machines that see.

Professor Perona is currently interested visual recognition, more specifically visual categorization. He is studying how machines can learn to recognize frogs, cars, faces and trees with minimal human supervision, and how machines can learn from human experts. His project `Visipedia' has produced two smart device apps (iNaturalist and Merlin Bird ID) that anyone can use to recognize the species of plants and animals from a photograph.

In collaboration with Professors Anderson and Dickinson, professor Perona is building vision systems and statistical techniques for measuring actions and activities in fruit flies and mice. This enables geneticists and neuroethologists to investigate the relationship between genes, brains and behavior.

Professor Perona is also interested in studying how humans perform visual tasks, such as searching and recognizing image content. One of his recent projects studies how to harness the visual ability of thousands of people on the web.

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Rob Phillips

Fred and Nancy Morris Professor of Biophysics, Biology, and Physics

Professor Phillips focuses on physical biology of the cell: models of transcription and active matter, physical genomes, and biophysical approaches to evolution.

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Niles A. Pierce

Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Bioengineering

Engineering small conditional DNAs and RNAs for signal transduction in vitro, in situ, and in vivo; computational algorithms for the analysis and design of nucleic acid structures, devices, and systems; programmable molecular technologies for readout and regulation of the state of endogenous biological circuitry.

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Dale I. Pullin

Robert H. Goddard Professor of Aeronautics

Several active research areas at present; (1) development of large-eddy simulation for high-Reynolds number wall-bounded turbulent flow, particularly bluff-body flows, (2) shock-driven flows in both fluids and solids, (3)  development of new numerical methods for the solution of the Boltzman equation.

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Guruswami (Ravi) Ravichandran

John E. Goode, Jr., Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering; Otis Booth Leadership Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science

Professor Ravichandran's research focuses on deformation and failure of materials, dynamic behavior, wave propagation, micro/nano mechanics, composites, active materials, biomaterials and cell mechanics, and experimental mechanics.

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Ares J. Rosakis

Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering

Solid mechanics, dynamic mechanical properties, ballistic impact, hypervelocity impact of micrometeorites on spacecraft, dynamic fracture and fragmentation, adiabatic shear banding, mechanics of metallic glasses, mechanics of thin films, mechanics of geological materials, restoration of ancient stone monuments, earthquake fault mechanics, induced seismicity.

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Michael L. Roukes

Frank J. Roshek Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Bioengineering

Professor Roukes's research focuses on nanobiotechnology, nanotechnology, nanoscale physics, nanoscale and molecular mechanics.

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Axel Scherer

Bernard Neches Professor of Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics and Physics

Professor Scherer's group focuses on the application of microfabrication to integrated microsystems. Recently, his group has specialized on developing sensors and diagnostic tools that can be used for low-cost point-of-care disease detection as well as precision health monitoring.

Professor Scherer has pioneered microcavity lasers and filters, and now his group works on integration of microfluidic chips with electronic, photonic and magnetic sensors. His group has also developed silicon nanophotonics and surface plasmon enhanced light emitting diodes, and has perfected the fabrication and characterization of ultra-small structures by lithography and electron microscopy.

Presently, his group works on integration of microfluidic chips with electronic, photonic and magnetic sensors. His group has also developed silicon nanophotonics and surface plasmon enhanced light emitting diodes, and has perfected the fabrication and characterization of ultra-small structures by lithography and electron microscopy.

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Tapio Schneider

Theodore Y. Wu Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Research Scientist

Professor Schneider's research group studies atmospheric dynamics, both here on Earth and on other planets, on scales from clouds to the globe. To answer fundamental questions about atmospheric dynamics, such as what controls Earth's winds and precipitation patterns, the group analyzes observational data and performs systematic studies with numerical models, simulating flows ranging from the meter-scale motions in clouds to global circulations. Collaborating with other scientists, engineers, and applied mathematicians in the Climate Modeling Alliance, Professor Schneider's group also develops next-generation models for weather forecasting and climate prediction.

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Peter Schroeder

Shaler Arthur Hanisch Professor of Computer Science and Applied and Computational Mathematics

Professor Schröder is interested in the design of efficient and reliable algorithms for problems in computer graphics. These range from geometric modeling (effective methods to model the shape of objects) to animation (simulation of physical phenomena such as the deformation of cloth). His emphasis is on an area known as "Discrete Differential Geometry." Its goals are to rebuild the foundations of classical differential geometry in a discrete setting which makes it immediately useful for computation.

Leonard J. Schulman

Professor of Computer Science

Algorithms and Communication Protocols; Combinatorics and Probability; Coding and Information Theory; Quantum Computation.

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Keith C. Schwab

Professor of Applied Physics

Professor Schwab's current focus is the development of Josephson junctions for superfluid helium-4 with the goal to build quantum devices such as interferometers and quantum bits from this material.  What makes this now possible are the advances in 2d nanometerials with nanometer pores.

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John H. Seinfeld

Louis E. Nohl Professor of Chemical Engineering

Professor Seinfeld focuses on atmospheric chemistry, secondary organic aerosol formation, and aerosol-cloud relationships in climate. His research group addresses these areas through laboratory chamber and flow tube experiments, large-scale atmospheric modeling, and aircraft measurements.

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Joseph E. Shepherd

C. L. "Kelly" Johnson Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering; Allen V. C. Davis and Lenabelle Davis Leadership Chair, Student Affairs; Vice President for Student Affairs

Joe Shepherd teaches and conducts research on fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, chemistry, thermodynamics, and structural mechanics with applications to explosion dynamics, industrial safety including aviation and nuclear power, high-speed flight and propulsion,  fluid-structure interaction, energy conversion technologies, and medical devices.

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Athanassios G. (Thanos) Siapas

Professor of Computation and Neural Systems; Executive Officer for Computation and Neural Systems

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Andrew Stuart

Bren Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences

Professor Stuart's research is focused on the development of mathematical and algorithmic frameworks for the seamless integration of models with data. He works in the Bayesian formulation of inverse problems, and in data assimilation for dynamical systems. Quantification of uncertainty plays a significant role in this work. Current applications of interest include a variety of problems in the geophysical sciences, and in graph-based learning.

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Yu-Chong Tai

Anna L. Rosen Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering; Andrew and Peggy Cherng Medical Engineering Leadership Chair; Executive Officer for Medical Engineering

Professor Y.C. Tai works on miniature biomedical and MEMS devices including drug pumps, intraocular lens, retinal implants, cortical implants, spinal cord implants, circulating tumor cell (CTC) analysis, blood analysis on-a-chip, cardiovascular catheters, and so on. The research often involves broad materials, design, technology and fabrication topics.

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Sandra M. Troian

Professor of Applied Physics, Aeronautics, and Mechanical Engineering

The Laboratory of Interfacial and Small Scale Transport {LIS2T} in the Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science at the California Institute of Technology specializes in both fundamental analysis and engineering design of micro/nanoscale fluidic systems. Of particular interest are small scale systems  dominated by large surface forces due to patterned capillary, van der Waals, Maxwell, thermocapillary and Marangoni fields. Theoretical analysis, numerical simulations (both continuum and molecular scale) and experimentation are all used to develop fundamental physical insight as well as robust design principles for application driven projects. Group focus is on formation, propagation, stability, coupling and control of nonlinear wave phenomena at the micro/nanoscale which induces rapid transport of mass, momentum and heat at moving interfaces. Systems of current theoretical interest include cusp formation in thermally and electrically driven thin films for super anti-reflecting coatings and space micropropulsion devices; nanofluidic phenomena involving Kapitza thermal jumps, layering transitions and thermal rectification in nanoscale devices; spatio-temporal parametric resonance and array formations in thin polymeric films exposed to large thermocapillary and Maxwell patterned fields; Lyapunov, modal and transient growth stability analyses of non-normal systems at zero Reynolds number; capillary and field enhanced propellant management systems for space micropropulsion applications; and solution of inverse problems for 3D lithographic patterning of nanofilms. Systems of current experimental interest include non-contact lithography of 3D micro-optical structures by patterned external fields; Marangoni wave phenomena and fractal wavefronts in biophysical systems; influence of layering transitions on slip behavior in nanoscale films; and optical wave propagation in structured polymeric waveguides.

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