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LSU Today Flagship Faculty
What was your previous position and where?I came to LSU in 2001 from Texas A&M University of Corpus Christi, where I was a tenure-track assistant professor. Before that, I was a postdoctoral research associate at Washington University in St. Louis.
What brought you to LSU?I was attracted to LSU's very strong mathematics department and its strong college of engineering, which had several faculty members close to my research area. This made LSU a great place for collaboration and research.
What is your research interest?My main research interests are the interplay between applied mathematics and engineering, especially mathematical control theory, which involves designing and analyzing methods for influencing the behavior of complex dynamical systems to achieve certain objectives. My main approach involves feedbacks, which are ways to automatically adjust the action of a system in response to information about the system's state and its surroundings. My research provides mathematical methods that ensure that control objectives can be met, even if the system is subject to considerable uncertainty. However, all of the theory I develop is inspired by or geared towards biology or engineering applications. Control problems arise in virtually every area of science. I have collaborated with engineering faculty on control problems for active magnetic bearings, adaptive systems, bioreactors, brushless DC motors, heart rate controllers, marine robots, microelectromechanical relays, and unmanned air vehicles.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?Aside from conducting well-respected interdisciplinary research, I hope to educate my undergraduate students so they do their very best in all of their mathematics courses, and so they appreciate the beauty and importance of mathematics in their everyday lives. I hope to help my graduate students reach their full potentials as educators and researchers. I also hope to work with my LSU colleagues to enhance LSU's already great international reputation for high quality research and education.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?I enjoy the collegial atmosphere in my department. The people I work with are very open to new ideas, especially when it comes to interdisciplinary research. I also enjoy Louisiana culture and music.
What are your major accomplishments?My research accomplishments have been recognized in the mathematical control theory and control engineering communities. I have more than 80 publications on control theory, including many in the top control journals, and have been awarded more than $1 million in federal research grants as principal investigator in the past 10 years alone, including two three-year grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation Mathematical Sciences Priority Area program. My students learned a great deal of mathematics and have moved on to productive careers in industry, research, and teaching. I have been appointed to editorial positions for three of the top journals in the controls field. I am very thankful that LSU selected me for this Flagship Faculty honor.