Faculty Directory
Daniel Abrams

Associate Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics


2145 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

Email Daniel Abrams


Research Projects


Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics

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NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Mathematical Sciences, MIT, Cambridge, MA

Ph.D. Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

B.S. (Hons) Applied Physics, Caltech, Padadena, CA

Research Interests

Nonlinear dynamics; mathematical geoscience; physics of social systems; pattern formation; coupled oscillators; synchronization; chimera states

Significant Recognition

  • James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar, 2010-2015
  • "Most Likely to Blow Your Mind" award from NPR’s The Academic Minute 2012
  • Northwestern University Searle Teaching Fellow, 2011–2012
  • Fulbright Foundation Scholar, 2010
  • NSF Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellow (MIT), 2006-2009
  • NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute Fellow, 2006
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellow, 2003-2006
  • US ED Foreign Language Area Study Grantee, 2003
  • Eagle Scout, 1996

Significant Professional Service

  • Co-organized conference “Network Frontier Workshop” (2013)
  • Chaired sessions at SIAM Conference on Applications of Dynamical Systems conference (2013, planned 2015)
  • Helped develop and co-teach pilot course “Data as Art / Data Viz Collaborative” in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago (2013)
  • Referee for a wide range of journals (e.g., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Communications, Physical Review Letters, Chaos, Nonlinearity, SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, Journal of Theoretical Biology)
  • Reviewed proposals for U.S. National Science Foundation, Research Corporation for Science Advancement (funding agency), Israel Science Foundation, Singapore National Research Foundation (2010-2014)
  • Compiled shared data sets on language competition (2003), evolution of religious affiliation (2010-2011), handedness in athletics (2011), smoking dynamics (2014)
  • Taught course for both faculty and students at San Antonio Abad University (UNSAAC) in Cusco, Peru. Translated all course materials into Spanish (2010)
  • Developing new applied math concept inventory (2013-Present)
  • Lectured on math, science, computer skills, and the US educational system at civil society events in Bolivia, Peru, and Nicaragua (2003-2010)
  • Lectured for Schuler Program in outreach to underserved Chicago area high school students (2013)
  • Communicated research through varied media interviews: see “Press” section of CV

Selected Publications

    S.H. Lee, R. Ffrancon, D.M. Abrams, B.J. Kim and M.A. Porter, “Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match: Migration of populations via marriages in the past,” Physical Review X 4, 041009 (2014). [http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.4.041009]

    D.M. Abrams, A. Slawik, and K. Srinivasan, “Nonlinear oscillations and bifurcations in silicon photonic microresonators,” Physical Review Letters 112, 123901 (2014). [doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.123901]

    M.J. Panaggio, B. Ottino-Loffler, P. Hu, and D.M. Abrams, “Symmetry breaking in optimal timing of traffic signals on an idealized two-way street,” Physical Review E 88, 032801 (2013). [link.aps.org/abstract/PRE/v88/i3/e032801].


    F.A. McRobie, G. Morgenthal, D.M. Abrams, and J. Prendergast, “Parallels between the wind excitation and the crowd loading of bridges,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 371, 2012430: 1-17 (2013). [dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2012.0430].


    M.J. Panaggio and D.M. Abrams, “Chimera states on a flat torus,” Physical Review Letters 110, 094102 (2013). [link.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v110/e094102]


    D.M. Abrams and M.J. Panaggio, “A model balancing cooperation and competition can explain our right-handed world and the dominance of left-handed athletes,” Journal of the Royal Society Interface 09 (75), 2718-2722 (2012). [dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2012.0211]


    D.M. Abrams, H.A. Yaple, and R.J. Wiener. "Dynamics of social group competition: modeling the decline of religious affiliation," Physical Review Letters 107, 088701: August 19 2011. [link.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v107/e088701]


    A.P. Petroff, O. Devauchelle, D.M. Abrams, A.E. Lobkovsky, A. Kudrolli and D. H. Rothman. "Geometry of valley growth," Journal of Fluid Mechanics 673, 245–254: April 2011. [dx.doi.org/10.1017/S002211201100053X]


    D.M. Abrams et al, “Growth laws for channel networks incised by groundwater flow,” Nature Geoscience 2, 193–196 (2009). [nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n3/abs/ngeo432.html]


    D.M. Abrams, R.E. Mirollo, S.H. Strogatz, and D.A. Wiley, “Solvable model for chimera states of coupled oscillators,” Physical Review Letters 101, 084103 (2008). [link.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v101/e084103]


    S.H. Strogatz, D.M. Abrams, F.A. McRobie, B. Eckhardt, E. Ott, “Crowd synchrony on the Millennium Bridge,” Nature 438, 43 (2005). [nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7064/abs/438043a.html]


    D.M. Abrams and S.H. Strogatz, “Modelling the dynamics of language death,” Nature 424, 900 (2003). [nature.com/nature/journal/v424/n6951/abs/424900a.html]