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Verriest Named to Giovanni Prodi Chair in Mathematics

Semester-Long Professorship Based at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Wuerzburg

Atlanta, GA

Erik Verriest has been named the Giovanni Prodi Chair in Mathematics at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Wuerzburg, located in Wuerzburg, Germany. Verriest is a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).

The Giovanni Prodi Chair in Mathematics is awarded to a professor from abroad each semester to work at the university’s Institute of Mathematics. Verriest will be in residence at the university this upcoming summer.

While at the Ludwig Maximillian University of Wuerzburg, Verriest will lecture on optimal control of systems with delays and continue the research that he initiated there in 2015 while on his professional development allocation. This work involved the structural properties of interconnected systems, in particular when one is only interested in reachability and observability of certain subsystems, but not the entire group or network. 

Characterization of these properties is studied within the so-called polynomial system theory, developed by mathematicians at this Institute. For instance, in remote control, one is not necessarily interested in controlling the intervening communication systems. The collaborative work involves mathematicians and biologists to investigate aspects of bee colony population dynamics. In 2015, Verriest solved a 30-year-old problem posed by biologists by correctly predicting the bee colony behavioral changes in the growth season, based on mathematical modeling and optimal control involving maturation delay.

Verriest is an internationally renowned scholar for rigorous and impactful contributions to the theory of control and dynamical systems. He first came to ECE as a visiting assistant professor in 1980 and accepted a permanent academic faculty position in 1981. Verriest is an IEEE Fellow and an international member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.

Last revised July 15, 2020