John Baillieul

Prof. J. Baillieul
Aero/Mech Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Manufacturing Engineering
PH: 617-353-9848 FAX: 617-353-5866

Biographical Sketch


Shopping in Yu Yuan, Shanghai

Prof. J. Baillieul

John Baillieul has held professorial appointments in three departments at Boston University: Aerospace/Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engtineering, and Manufacturing Engineering. He is past Chairman of Aerospace/Mechanical Engineering and also past Chairman of the Department of Manufacturing Engineering. He has served as Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the B.U. College of Engineering. After receiving the Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1975, he joined the Mathematics Department of Georgetown University. During the academic year 1983-84 he was the Vinton Hayes Visiting Scientist in Robotics at Harvard University, and in 1991 he was visiting scientist in the Department of Electrical Engineering at MIT. Professor Baillieul has been an active member of the IEEE Control Systems Society for many years. From 1984 through 1985 he served an Associate Editor of the Transactions on Automatic Control, and in 1987 he served as Program Chairman of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control in Los Angeles. He is past Associate Editor of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Newsletter and was a member of the editorial board of the journal Bifurcation and Chaos in Applied Sciences and Engineering. He was Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control for six years from 1992 through this past June. Currently, he is on the editorial boards of the Proceedings of the IEEE, the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Communications in Information and Systems, and the journal Robotics and Computer Integrated Manufacturing. He has been named Fellow of the IEEE for his contributions to nonlinear control theory, robotics, and the control of complex mechanical systems. He is a recent recipient of the IEEE Third Millennium Medal for various professional contributions. He is past IEEE Control Systems Society Vice-President for Technical Activities and IEEE CSS Vice-President for Publications. He is also past President of the IEEE Control Systems Society. At the level of the corporate IEEE, Professor Baillieul's service has included four years as TAB Transactions Chair (1998 through 2001), member at large of the Publications Services and Products Board (PSPB) (1999 - 2004, 2006), Chair of the PSPB Strategic Planning Committee (2001 - 2002), and Chair of the PSPB Finance Committee (PSPB Treasurer, 2004). During 2005, John Baillieul chaired the PSPB Ad Hoc Committee on the IEEE Press of the Future. Committee recommendations were distilled into a business plan which the IEEE Press Board and the PSPB are now working to execute. For 2007 and 2008 Baillieul has held the position of IEEE Vice President of Publication Services and Products.

John Baillieul's research deals with robotics, the control of mechanical systems, and mathematical system theory. His PhD dissertation, completed at Harvard University under the direction of R.W. Brockett in 1975, was an early work dealing with connections between optimal control theory and what has recently been called ``sub-Riemannian geometry.'' After publishing a number of papers developing geometric methods for nonlinear optimal control problems, he turned his attention to problems in the control of nonlinear systems modeled by homogeneous polynomial differential equations. Such systems describe, for example, the controlled dynamics of a rigid body. His main controllability theorem applied the concept of finiteness embodied in the Hilbert basis theorem to develop a controllability condition which could be verified by checking the rank of an explicit finite dimensional operator. During the mid 1980's, Baillieul collaborated with M. Levi to develop a control theory for rotating elastic systems. Recently, he has written a number of papers on motion planning and control of kinematically redundant manipulators, and he has become interested in problems associated with anholonomy in planning motions for robots which have elastic joints and other components which store energy. Much of his present research is devoted to applying the methods of dynamical systems theory and classical geometric nonlinear control theory to problems of current technological interest. In particular, he is working on applications of mathematical control theory to fluid structure interactions, microelectromechanism dynamics, adaptive optics, and network mediated control of large scale device arrays. Recent developments in this research has led him to work on the interplay between communications and information theory and control.

On the Yangtze River