MacArthur Fellows Program

Robert S. Shaw

Physicist | Class of 1988

Title
Physicist
Location
Urbana, Illinois
Age
42 at time of award
Area of Focus
Physics

Robert Shaw is a theoretical and experimental physicist working in the area of chaotic and dynamical systems.

Much of Shaw’s work has been concerned with complex spatial dynamics, particularly with the idea of information flow in space and time.  At the core of his approach to nonlinear dynamics is his investigation of turbulence and static in order to identify new engines of information and creative patterns.  He is developing a new language for the nonequilibrium statistical mechanics of spatially extended systems.  To undertake his research, he frequently builds his own computers or revamps existing ones.

Shaw is a co-founder (1995) and vice-president of a private company, Haptek Inc., that develops next-generation computer interactivity with software, that creates realistic, 3-D artificial human characters that emote, respond to, and interact with users in real time.  He taught in the Physics Department (1981-84) at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  He was a fellow of the Center for Complex Systems Research at the University of Illinois (1987-88).

Shaw received a B.S. (1972) from Harvard University and a Ph.D. (1980) from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

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