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Professor Ott's current research is on the basic theory and applications of nonlinear dynamics, wave chaos, control of chaos, fractal basin boundaries, dynamics of large interconnected networks, chaotic dynamics of fluids, models of brain dynamics and learning, and weather prediction.
Professor Ott earned his bachelor's degree from Cooper Union in the field of electrical engineering. He received his master's and doctoral degrees in electrophysics from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. After a postdoctoral year at Cambridge University, he became a professor of electrical engineering at Cornell University. He joined the University of Maryland in 1979 and is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Physics.
Professor Ott is the author or co-author of over 400 papers published in scientific journals. He is the author of the book "Chaos in Dynamical Systems" (Cambridge University Press), which is an introduction to concepts in chaotic dynamics for scientists and students. He is an editor of the book "Coping with Chaos," which is a collection of reprints that focuses on how scientists observe, quantify, and control chaos. He has been listed by the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the world's most highly cited physicists.
Professor Ott is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). He is the recipient of the APS Julius Edgar Lilienfield Prize for 2014.
Professor Ott was named a 2016 Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate, with Prof. Celso Grebogi of the University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, and Prof. James A. Yorke of the University of Maryland, for their description of a control theory of chaotic systems, the OGY (Ott,Grebogi,Yorke) method.
In 2017 he was awarded the Richardson Medal by the European Geosciences Union and the Jürgen Moser Award by the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics.