Bren Professor
Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Control and Dynamical Systems
California Institute of Technology

Office: 266 Gates-Thomas
Email:  ames at caltech dot edu
Phone: 626-395-8750

AMBER Lab Website (updated frequently):
YouTube Page (latest videos of my walking robots):


My research interests center around theoretic methods in hybrid systems and nonlinear control, with a heavy emphasis on applications to bipedal robotic walking---both formally and through experimental validation. 

The theoretic foundations that I explore extend to a variety of application domains encompassing cyber-physical and autonomous systems, including: safety-critical control via control barrier functions, automotive applications, real-time optimization-based control, powered prostheses and robotic assistive devices.

I received a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a BA in Mathematics from the University of St. Thomas in 2001. I received a MA in Mathematics and a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and the University of California, Berkeley in 2006 with Shankar Sastry.  I was a Postdoc at Caltech from 2006-2008 with John Doyle. At UC Berkeley, I was the recipient of the 2005 Leon O. Chua Award for achievement in nonlinear science and the 2006 Bernard Friedman Memorial Prize in Applied Mathematics.  In 2010, I received both the NSF CAREER award for my research on bipedal robotic walking and its applications to prosthetic devices.  I was the recipient of the 2015 Donald P. Eckman Award recognizing an outstanding young engineer in the field of automatic control. 

News and Notes:

"Abstractness, sometimes hurled as a reproach at mathematics, is its chief glory and its surest title to practical usefulness."

-Eric Temple Bell

"Good general theory does not search for the maximum generality, but for the right generality."

-Mac Lane

"The whole concept of a category is essentially an auxiliary one; our basic concepts are essentially those of a functor and of a natural transformation ."

-Eilenberg and Mac Lane



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