Check out my music site Music Illuminati

Here is a recent talk I gave called Brain Control - It's Not Just for Mad Scientists

This covers my research inspired by Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and cardiac arrhythmias.

And here's an article about the same material, called Better Living through Phase and Isostable Reduction.

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, Summer 2017-present
  • Chair, Program in Dynamical Neuroscience at UC Santa Barbara, 2019-2020
  • 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 Board for Journal of Nonlinear Science, 2017-present
  • Editorial Board for SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, 2020-present.
  • Editorial Committee for Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems - Series S, 2007-2010
  • Chair of Organizing Committee for Emphasis Semester on Control in Biology and Medicine, Mathematical Biosciences Institute, Ohio State University, Fall 2017.
  • 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:

    Current Graduate Students

    Former Postdoc

  • Philip Wong

    Research topic: Olfaction for fruit fly larvae, Co-advised by Matthieu Louis, MCDB at UCSB

  • Gabor Orosz , 2008-2010

    Research topics: Traffic dynamics, coupled oscillators

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

  • Former Graduate Students

  • Tim Matchen

    Research topic: Controlling populations of neurons

  • Mike Schaus, MS 2005

    Research topic: Response dynamics of neurons (thesis)

    Specialized Bicycle Components

  • Joey Durham, MS 2007

    Research topic: Controlling canards (thesis)

    Amazon Robotics

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

    Research topic: Dynamics of MEMS devices (dissertation)

    Keysight Technologies

  • Allison Kolpas, PhD 2008

    Research topic: Collective motion (dissertation)

    Faculty in Department of Mathematics at West Chester University

  • 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

    Eaton Corporation

  • Margot Kimura, MS 2007, PhD 2011

    Research topic: Collective motion and decision making (thesis, dissertation)

    Sandia National Laboratory

  • Ali Nabi, PhD 2012

    Research topic: Controlling neurons (dissertation)


  • Brian Paden, MS 2013

    Research topic: Controlling heteroclinic cycles (thesis)

    Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center

  • Michael Busch, PhD 2014

    Research topic: Social networks (dissertation)

    Apple, Inc

  • Dan Wilson, PhD 2016

    Research topic: Controlling populations of neurons, cardiac arrhythmias (dissertation)

    Faculty in Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Tennessee - Knoxville

  • Louis Van Blarigan, PhD 2016

    Research topic: Vibrational energy harvesting (dissertation)


  • Matthew Kim, BS/MS 2016

    Research topic: Neural modeling

  • Zachary Guilford, BS/MS 2018

    Research topic: Information propagation through networks

  • Carmelo Gonzales, MS 2019

    Research topic: Transient response of nonlinear oscillators

  • Matthew Ou, BS/MS 2019

    Research topic: Neural control through reinforcement learning

  • Bharat Monga, PhD 2020

    Research topic: Controlling populations of neurons (dissertation)

    Video of dissertation defense

  • Former Undergraduate Researchers

  • Jess Theilmann

    Research topic: Response dynamics of neurons

  • Bob Hansen

    Research topic: Response dynamics of neurons

  • 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

  • Talia Barth

    Research topic: Vibrational energy harvesting

  • Vishaal Varahamurthy

    Research topic: Dynamical systems software

  • Aviv Elbag

    Research topic: Models for fish schooling

  • Teaching

  • Engr 3, Introduction to Programming, Summer 2019, also taught Fall 2018, Summer 2018, Summer 2017, Fall 2016, Summer 2016, Fall 2015, Summer 2015, Fall 2014, Fall 2013, Fall 2012, Summer 2012, Fall 2011, Spring 2011, Spring 2010
  • ME16, Dynamics, Summer 2019
  • ME17, Mathematics of Engineering, Spring 2008, also taught Spring 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004
  • ME163, Vibrations, Summer 2019
  • ME169, Nonlinear Phenomena, Spring 2018, also taught Spring 2015
  • ME225DS, Dynamical Systems with Symmetry, Spring 2016, also taught Winter 2008
  • ME215B, Applied Dynamical Systems II, Winter 2016, also taught Winter 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2013, 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 .

  • My Kevin Bacon number is also 4, thanks to two small parts I played in a movie called Post Concussion directed by Danny Yoon. If you get a chance, go see it!!! Or, order from .

    I was in Post Concussion (1999) with Daniel Yoon, who is in Low Budget Ethnic Movie (2015) with Jennifer Chang, who was in Death and Return of Superman (2011) with Elijah Wood, who was in Beyond All Boundaries (2009) with Kevin Bacon.

    Another link: I was in Post Concussion (1999) with Danny Yoon, who is in Low Budget Ethnic Movie (2015) with Kenny Leu, who was in Awesome Asian Bad Guys (2014) with Al Leong, who was in She's Having a Baby (1988) with Kevin Bacon.

    There are other paths also! For more information, see The Oracle of Bacon. Note that you won't be able to find me in the database - sadly, I'm uncredited in the Post Concussion listing on IMDB. I'll have to get my agent on that!


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


  • webofscience
  • electronic journals
  • Santa Barbara rainfall
  • 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