Check out my music site Music Illuminati

Jeff Moehlis


Department of Mechanical Engineering
Engineering II Building, Room 2341
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

805-893-7513 (office)
805-893-8651 (FAX)


with Kaia and Teagan

Many of you are probably here for Teagan's website or Kaia's website.
In my "spare time" I write concert reviews for A list of my reviews, plus interviews, etc, is available here.
Here's a webpage I created on The Mathematics of the Movie "21". This includes discussions of The Fibonacci Series, The Monty Hall Problem, and the Newton-Raphson Method. I don't say much about "card counting" for Blackjack because this is thoroughly covered elsewhere on the web.

Professional Experience (my CV )

  • Vice Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering at UC Santa Barbara, Fall 2008-Summer 2013
  • Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering at UC Santa Barbara, Summer 2011-present
  • Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering at UC Santa Barbara, Summer 2007-Spring 2011
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering at UC Santa Barbara, Summer 2003-Spring 2007

    Affiliated with:

  • Program Director, SIAM Activity Group on Dynamical Systems, 2008-2009
  • Editorial Committee for Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems - Series S, 2007-2010
  • Visiting Research Associate, Department of Engineering Mathematics at University of Bristol , Fall 2007
  • Visiting Researcher, Fachbereich Physik der Philipps-Universität Marburg, working with Bruno Eckhardt, Summer 2003
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University. Supervisor: Phil Holmes, Fall 2000-Spring 2003; see Phil Holmes story
  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Fellow and Visitor at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution , Summer 1999, 2000
  • Graduate Student in Department of Physics at University of California, Berkeley. Supervisor: Edgar Knobloch , Fall 1993-Spring 2000

    Research (Publications )

    Biological Dynamics

  • control of neural populations
  • natural and artificial swarms: schooling fish, flocking birds, etc
  • territorial behavior
  • coupled oscillators

    Fluid Dynamics

  • shear flow turbulence

    Mechanical Systems

  • theoretical analysis of individual and coupled microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
  • vibrational energy harvesting


  • information propagation through social networks
  • collective decision making

    Dynamical Systems

  • bifurcation theory, especially for systems with symmetry and effect of forced symmetry breaking
  • canards

    Past and present support from the following agencies is gratefully acknowledged:

    Research Group:

    Past Postdoc

  • Gabor Orosz , 2008-2010

    Research topics: Traffic dynamics, coupled oscillators

    Faculty in Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Michigan, started Fall 2010

  • Current Graduate Students

    Past Graduate Students

  • Brian Paden

    Research topic: Controlling heteroclinic cycles

  • Mike Schaus, MS 2005

    Research topic: Response dynamics of neurons (thesis)

    Product Development Engineer at Starfire Industries

  • Joey Durham, MS 2007

    Research topic: Controlling canards (thesis)

    Continuing for PhD with Francesco Bullo

  • Michael Busch

    Research topic: Social networks

  • Barry DeMartini, PhD 2008 (co-advised with Kimberly Turner)

    Research topic: Dynamics of MEMS devices (dissertation)

    Semiconductor Fab Process Engineer at Agilent Technologies

  • Allison Kolpas, PhD 2008

    Research topic: Collective motion (dissertation)

    Faculty in Department of Mathematics at West Chester University, starting Fall 2010

  • Louis Van Blarigan

    Research topic: Vibrational energy harvesting

  • Lina Kim, MS 2005, PhD 2009

    Research topic: Shear flow turbulence (thesis, dissertation),

    Director, Research Mentorship Program, UCSB

  • Per Danzl, PhD 2010

    Research topic: Controlling neurons (dissertation). Received Best PhD Thesis Award, UCSB Dept Mech Eng

    Controls Engineer at Eaton Corporation

  • Dan Wilson

    Research topic: Controlling populations of neurons

  • Margot Kimura, MS 2007 (thesis, dissertation), PhD 2011

    Research topic: Collective motion and decision making

    Sandia National Laboratory

  • Ali Nabi, PhD 2012 (dissertation)

    Research topic: Controlling neurons

    Postdoc with Steve Schiff

  • Current Undergraduate Researchers

    Past Undergraduate Researchers

  • Vishaal Varahamurthy

    Research topic: Dynamical systems software

  • Jess Theilmann

    Research topic: Response dynamics of neurons

  • Bob Hansen

    Research topic: Response dynamics of neurons

  • Talia Barth

    Research topic: Vibrational energy harvesting

  • Ronny Votel

    Research topic: Territorial behavior

  • Tomasz Jagoda

    Research topic: Territorial behavior

  • Suzanne Iwanicki

    Research topic: Territorial behavior

  • Ashley Zavagno

    Research topic: Territorial behavior

  • Keith Allen

    Research topic: Vibrational energy harvesting

  • Lily Li

    Research topic: Vibrational energy harvesting

  • Teaching

  • Engr 3, Introduction to Programming, Fall Quarter 2014, also taught Fall 2013, Fall 2012, Summer 2012, Fall 2011, Spring 2011, Spring 2010
  • ME17, Mathematics of Engineering, Spring Quarter 2008, also taught Spring 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004
  • ME225DS, Dynamical Systems with Symmetry, Winter Quarter 2008
  • ME215B, Applied Dynamical Systems II, Spring 2013, also taught Spring 2012, Winter 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005
  • ME215A, Applied Dynamical Systems I, Fall Quarter 2009, also taught Fall 2008, 2006, 2005, 2004
  • ME225BC, Special Topics: Introduction to Low Dimensional Modeling, UCSB, Winter Quarter 2004
  • APC/EEB/MOL 514, Biological Dynamics, Princeton University, Fall 2002
  • APC591, Special Topics in Biological Dynamics, Princeton University Fall 2001

    Erdös and Bacon numbers

  • My Erdös number is 4: I've written a joint paper with Edgar Knobloch, who has written a joint paper with Martin Golubitsky, who has written a joint paper with Bruce Rothschild, who wrote a joint paper with Paul Erdös. There may be other paths also! For more information, see the Erdös Number Project Home Page .
  • I played two small parts in a movie called Post Concussion directed by Danny Yoon. If you get a chance, go see it!!! Or, order from . My Kevin Bacon number is still infinity.


  • my music site Music Illuminati
  • All Music Guide
  • Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock
  • Pandora


  • webofscience
  • electronic journals
  • POW
  • Scholarpedia
  • Jeff Moehlis, Kresimir Josic, Eric T. Shea-Brown. (2006) Periodic orbit. Scholarpedia, 1(7):1358
  • Kresimir Josic, Eric T. Shea-Brown, Jeff Moehlis (2006) Isochron. Scholarpedia, 1(8):1361
  • Jeff Moehlis and Edgar Knobloch (2007) Equivariant dynamical systems. Scholarpedia, 2(10):2510
  • Jeff Moehlis and Edgar Knobloch (2007) Equivariant bifurcation theory. Scholarpedia, 2(9):2511