John Baillieul

John Baillieul

VP Technical Activities
IEEE Control Systems Society

Biography

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 came to be 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 that could be verified by checking the rank of an explicit finite dimensional operator. Baillieul’s current research is aimed at understanding decision making and novel ways to communicate in mixed teams of humans and intelligent automata. He was awarded the IEEE Third Millennium Medal in 2000, and he has held many positions in the Control Systems Society including that of fortieth President. John Baillieul has also held a number of leadership positions in both the Technical Activities Board and the Publication Services and Products Board of the IEEE. He is past IEEE Vice President of Publication Services and Products. John Baillieul is a Fellow of the IEEE and a Fellow of SIAM.