Researcher is MSU lead in DARPA collaborative project to develop novel computational tools

Published October 30, 2016

Jose Perea

Michigan State University assistant professor Jose Perea is the principal investigator on a collaborative research project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

A two-year, $1,637,726 DARPA grant has been awarded to MSU and five other universities to develop novel computational, geometric and topological tools to represent complex spatio-temporal dynamics in a way that allows for control and prediction of the underlying physical systems.

These new tools will deepen scientists’ understanding of turbulent systems and the dynamics of dense granular media. Applications of this work include prediction and control in systems such as weather and climate forecasting, the dynamics of biomass in the oceans, earthquakes, avalanches and calving of icebergs.

MSU will receive $186,250 of the grant money; other universities also receiving funding are Duke University, Georgia Tech, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University and Virginia Tech.

“This grant will allow the exploration and development of truly novel mathematical techniques for the study of non-linear dynamics,” said Perea, who joined the MSU faculty in 2015, with joint appointments in the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering (CMSE).  “One of the most important features of this work is that it is highly collaborative. As a result, the tools we develop here at MSU will have increased visibility, and what we learn from applications will be used to guide future projects.”

“It is very gratifying to see Jose serve as one of the key leads for this important, innovative work,” said Andrew Christlieb, MSU Foundation Professor and CMSE chair. “Collaborations such as these are essential advancing the development of tools that can contribute to the study of new and more effective ways to predict and control the dynamics of important physical systems.”

Perea’s research entails applications and adaptations of ideas from algebraic and geometric topology to the study of high-dimensional and complex data. Prior to joining MSU, he held a post-doctoral position as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at Duke University. He received his B.S. in mathematics from Universidad del Valle and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Stanford University.