Edward Ott is an American physicist and engineer most noted for his contributions to the development of chaos theory, the theory of complex systems, and for applications of these. Prior to his work on chaos and complex systems, Dr. Ott had done extensive research in the field of plasma physics. He was born and grew up in New York City. He attended Stuyvesant High School, received his Batchelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Cooper Union in 1963, and his Ph.D. in Electrophysics from The Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1967. Following receipt of his Ph.D., he was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Cambridge University. He then joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Cornell University. Since 1979 he has been a faculty member jointly in the Department of Physics and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland, with the current titles of Distinguished University Professor, and Yuan Sang and Yuan Kit So Professor. His work has been recognized by several awards, including the Julius Edgar Lillienfeld Prize (from the American Physical Society), the Jurgen Moser Award (from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics), and the Lewis Fry Richardson Medal (from the European Geosciences Union). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the Academia Europaea.

Research Interests

Dr. Ott's current research interests are in the use of machine learning for studying nonlinear dynamics, chaos, and complex systems. Some examples of his past research are as follows:
-Controlling chaos (in which it was shown that dynamics on a chaotic attractor can be controlled by using only small perturbations).
-The dynamics of large networks of interacting dynamical units (e.g., the so-called Ott-Antonsen ansatz for analyzing large systems of many interacting oscillators).
-Geophysical forecasting (e.g., his work on devising new ways of assimilating measured data for state estimation of large spatiotemporally chaotic processes).
-Fast magnetic dynamos in chaotic flows (addressing the origin of magnetic fields in planets, stars, and galaxies).
-Transitions of the dynamics of chaotic systems (e.g., his work introducing the concept of "crises" in which there are abrupt structural changes in chaotic dynamics characterized by scaling behavior of the dynamics and by critical exponents).
-Quantum chaos (e.g., his work on the effect of noise on the dynamical version of Anderson localization of the quantum evolution of chaotic kicked systems).

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Primary Section

Section 33: Applied Physical Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 13: Physics