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Ioannis Kevrekidis

Modeling and Dynamic Behavior of Complex Systems

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering
Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Whiting School of Engineering
Department of Urology, School of Medicine

Engineer and applied mathematician Ioannis Kevrekidis has developed computer models that aided scientists in studies about how clusters of neurons synchronize; the swarming patterns of insects; the development of bubbles in fluidized reactors; and the phenomenon of urban sprawl.

In all, Kevrekidis, an expert in modeling and dynamic behavior of complex systems, has contributed to more than 300 papers and studies published in peer-reviewed journals.

After more than 30 years at Princeton, Kevrekidis will join Johns Hopkins University in July as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor with joint appointments in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics in the Whiting School of Engineering, as well as an appointment in the Department of Urology at the School of Medicine.

At Hopkins, he will develop computer models—which utilize a novel, “equation-free” approach that incorporate data mining and machine learning techniques to apply motion observed in small space-time scales to events and systems on larger scales— that will help oncologists in the School of Medicine study how cancer cells move and interact with other cells. He will also help scientists to analyze outcomes for patients in the Prostate Cancer Precision Medicine Center of Excellence.

“In addition to being a standout educator, Dr. Kevrekidis is also a prominent scientific leader whose innovative work combining large-scale data mining and analytics with mathematical and computer modeling has opened the doors to new opportunities in health care,” says Paul Rothman, dean of medical faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “We are proud and excited to welcome him to Johns Hopkins.”

Kevrekidis is teaching courses on quantitative and data-driven dynamic computer modeling at both the graduate and undergraduate level in the School of Engineering.

“Dr. Kevrekidis’ appointment in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering will expand the department’s reach in critical fields, including algorithms, big data, and computer-assisted modeling of complex dynamic systems,” says Ed Schlesinger, dean of the Whiting School. “His recent election to the Academy of Arts and Sciences speaks to the significance of his pioneering work, which connects disciplines across engineering and sciences, and which I know will enable new and productive collaborations for the Whiting School.”

In discussions with the Whiting School, Kevrekidis described mathematical and computational modeling as a bridge that unites engineering with other scientific disciplines.

“The construction of such models is at the same time a science and an art,” he said. “The critical analysis of the mechanisms that play a role in a phenomenon, and the judicious choice of working assumptions and of the expectations we have from a mathematical model, are crucial for what we can learn from using it. Obtaining predictive dynamical equations from observational and experimental data lies at the heart of science and engineering modeling, and is the linchpin of our technology.”

Born in Athens, Greece in 1959, Kevrekidis received his undergraduate degree from the National Technical University in Athens before moving to the United States where he received his master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Minnesota.


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