Faculty Directory
Mitra Hartmann

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Professor of Mechanical Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech B284
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-467-4633Email Mitra Hartmann


Neuroscience and Robotics Lab (NxR)

Hartmann Lab


Biomedical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

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Post-doc Bio-Computing, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Post-doc Computational Neurobiology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

Ph.D. Integrative Neuroscience, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

B.S. Applied and Engineering Physcis, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Research Interests

Sensorimotor integration; robots as tools for studying neuroscience; sensory acquisition behaviors; neuroethology

Significant Recognition

  • McCormick School of Engineering Teacher of the year, 2010
  • McCormick School of Engineering Teacher of the Year, 2011, 2010, 2009
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2008
  • NAE 14th Annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, 2008
  • Invited Participant, NINDS Workshop on Neuroprosthetics, 2008
  • Packard Nominee, Northwestern University, 2006
  • Searle Junior Fellow, Northwestern University, 2006-07
  • Everhart Distinguished Graduate Student Lecturer Award, Caltech, 1996

Significant Professional Service

  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Neurophysiology
  • NIH SMI Study Section Member
  • Programming Committee Member, Barrels Society, 2007 - Present
  • Guest Editor, Autonomous Robots, Special Issue on Biomorphic Robotics, 2001

Selected Publications

  • Hartmann, Mitra J. Z.; Schroeder, Christopher L.; Huet, Lucie A., “Tactile signals transmitted by the vibrissa during active whisking behavior”, Journal of Neurophysiology, (2015)
  • Hartmann, Mitra J. Z.; Huet, Lucie A., “The search space of the rat during whisking behavior”, Journal of Experimental Biology, (2014)
  • Murphey, Todd D.; Seghete, Vlad; Quist, Brian W.; Huet, Lucie A.; Hartmann, Mitra J.Z., “Modeling forces and moments at the base of a rat vibrissa during noncontact whisking and whisking against an object”, Journal of Neuroscience, (2014)
  • Solomon, Joseph H.; Locascio, Mark A.; Hartmann, Mitra J.Z., “Linear reactive control for efficient 2D and 3D bipedal walking over rough terrain”, Adaptive Behavior, (2013)
  • Solomon, Joseph H.; Locascio, Mark A.; Hartmann, Mitra J. Z., “Linear reactive control of three-dimensional bipedal walking in the presence of noise and uncertainty”, Adaptive Behavior, (2012)
  • Hartmann, Mitra J.Z.; Schroeder, Christopher L., “Sensory prediction on a whiskered robot: A tactile analogy to "optical flow"”, Frontiers in Neurorobotics, (2012)
  • B. W. Quist and M. J. Z. Hartmann, “Mechanical signals at the base of a rat vibrissa: the effect of intrinsic vibrissa curvature and implications for tactile exploration”, Journal of Neurophysiology, (2012)
  • Hartmann, M.J.Z.; Quist, B.W.; Faruqi, R.A., “Variation in Young's modulus along the length of a rat vibrissa”, Journal of Biomechanics, (2011)
  • Solomon, J.H.; Hartmann, M.J.Z., “Radial distance determination in the rat vibrissal system and the effects of Weber's law”, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, (2011)
  • R Blythe Towal;Brian W Quist;Venkatesh Gopal;Joseph H Solomon;Mitra J Z Hartmann, “The morphology of the rat vibrissal array: a model for quantifying spatiotemporal patterns of whisker-object contact”, PLoS computational biology, (2011)
  • HJ CHIEL;LH TING;O EKEBERG;MJZ HARTMANN, “The Brain in Its Body: Motor Control and Sensing in a Biomechanical Context”, Journal of Neuroscience, (2009)
  • JH Solomon, MJZ Hartmann, “Extracting Object Contours with the Sweep of a Robotic Whisker Using Torque Information”, The International Journal of Robotics Research, (2009)
  • JH SOLOMON, MJZ HARTMANN, “Artificial Whiskers Suitable for Array Implementation: Accounting for Lateral Slip and Surface Friction”, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS, (2008)
  • Towal, R. B.; Hartmann, M. J. Z., “Variability in velocity profiles during free-air whisking behavior of unrestrained rats.”, Journal of Neurophysiology, (2008)
  • Birdwell, J. A.; Solomon, J. H.; Thajchayapong, M.; Taylor, M. A.; Cheely, M.; Towal, R. B.; Conradt, J.; Hartmann, M. J. Z., “Biomechanical models for radial distance determination by the rat vibrissal system.”, Journal of Neurophysiology, (2007)

In the Classroom

Profesor Hartmann teaches ME 241 and BME 270. Both classes are titled Introductory Fluid Mechanics. The flow of fluids is important in many applications ranging from blood flow in the human body to air flow over the wing of a jet aircraft. Undergraduates take this course at the end of their second year or at the beginning of their third year. The course uses integral calculus and differential equations, so these courses are prerequisites. It also helps to have taken physics and thermodynamics prior to this course.

Professor Hartmann also teaches a graduate level course, BME 462: Neural Engineering - Sensory Acquisition through Movement. This course focuses on an understanding of how animals move to acquire sensory data across multiple modalities, including vision, audition, and somatosensation. A previous introductory course in neuroscience is helpful.