Yannis G. Kevrekidis, the Pomeroy and Betty Perry Smith Professor in Engineering, has been named a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Kevrekidis, a professor of chemical and biological engineering and of applied and computational mathematics, is one of 228 people elected to the academy this year. Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences recognizes contributions in science, the arts and in civic and business leadership.
Kevrekidis’ research involves understanding and describing complex dynamical systems in a wide range of subjects, from chemical reactors to the flow and deformation of liquid crystals. His research group seeks to model systems for which fundamental macroscopic models either do not exist or are too inaccurate for practical use. Such systems, including molecular dynamics or agent-based models, are of such complexity that they can defy current attempts to systematically model them at a coarse-grained, engineering scale. Kevrekidis has pioneered the use of a technique called equation-free computation in which scientists design and apply brief bursts of fine-scale computation to gain an understanding of systems at the coarse, macroscopic level. Designing these brief simulation bursts and processing their results on-the-fly (using modern manifold learning techniques, like diffusion maps) leads to engineering modeling and predictions even when accurate macroscopic, system level equations cannot (yet) be written down explicitly.
Among other honors, Kevrekidis is the recipient of the J.D. Crawford Prize and the W. T. and Idalia Reid Prize from the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics as well as the Colburn and Wilhelm Awards from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as well as a Hans Fischer Senior Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at T.U. Munich. He received his diploma in chemical engineering from the National Technical University of Athens in 1981 and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He joined the Princeton faculty in 1986.