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04-13-2005

Managing Chaos; Clarkson Professor Tackles Problems From Saving Rocket Fuel In Space To Modeling The Dynamics Of Disease Spread

[A photograph for newspaper use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/bollt.jpg]

“My research is in chaos theory and control of chaos, time-series embedding analysis, Frobenius-Perron operators, stochastic dynamical systems and noise-induced transport mechanism, Hamiltonian dynamics, celestial mechanics, and communicating with chaos,” said Bollt. bollt

For example, the National Science Foundation is funding his research in developing practical computational methods to model and solve problems such as the dynamics of disease spread and control of epidemics and dynamics of air pollution. Los Alamos National Laboratory is supporting Bollt’s work with Clarkson colleague Peter Schultz, assistant professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, to improve digital recognition capabilities in areas such as facial image patterns and brain scan analysis, and image denoising.

Bollt is using mathematical tools to analyze the spread of computer viruses in area networks for the Naval Research Laboratory. Also, the U.S. Navy has long been frustrated by wave motion when using shipboard cranes to unload cargo. Irregular rise, fall and tilting can cause oscillations in cables that suspend large containers until they eventually swing out of control. Recently, however, this problem has been reduced because Bollt’s research has helped develop engineering techniques quell the motion.

“I am also very interested in airfoil flutter suppression in long aspect airfoils,” explained Bollt, “with applications both to aircraft, specifically unmanned air vehicles, and also wind-generated energy for controlling flutter and noise of large windmills.” In these projects he is collaborating with Clarkson University Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Professor Piergiovanni Marzocca.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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