John B. Geddes

Professor of Applied Mathematics


John B. Geddes


Milas Hall 255




  • Ph.D., Applied Mathematics, University of Arizona, 1994
  • B.Sc., Computational Physics, Heriot-Watt University, 1990


  • 2012 The 300 Best Professors, Princeton Review
  • 2000 Outstanding Teaching Award, University of New Hampshire
  • 1990 Watt Club Medal for Academic Excellence in Physics, Heriot-Watt University


  • Applied Mathematics
  • Dynamical Systems
  • Mathematical Biology
  • Navigation for Blind Sailors

Dr. Geddes joined Olin in 2003, and has been fully engaged in building and sustaining this new engineering school.

He has focused his attention on transforming mathematics education for engineers, and the development and mentorship of a diverse faculty body.

Dr. Geddes applies the tools and techniques of applied mathematics to a variety of problems in science and engineering. Over the years, he has worked with numerous collaborators on projects in fields like nonlinear optics and mathematical biology. His expertise is in mathematical and computational modeling, nonlinear dynamics and chaos. More recently, he is working with a group of faculty and students to develop and deploy navigation technology for blind sailors. He has received funding from the NSF and the NIH to support his work.

Dr. Geddes also brings his passion for applied mathematics to the classroom. He has developed and taught courses at all levels of the undergraduate curriculum, but he has focused on courses for first- and second-year students. Many of the courses that he has been involved with are inter-disciplinary, and co-taught with a range of faculty from across the disciplines. Dr. Geddes believes that undergraduate students have enormous potential for growth, and his courses usually emphasize self-directed learning and intrinsic motivation. Dr. Geddes has a B.Sc. in Computational Physics from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, and a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Arizona. Prior to joining Olin College of Engineering, Dr. Geddes served on the faculty at the University of New Hampshire and Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Dr. Geddes is a passionate sailor, who enjoys spending time at sea with his family. He holds his US Coast Guard OUPV License, and is a certified American Sailing Association instructor.

Select Publications

2013 Video: Introduction to Chaos Theory at Coolidge Corner Theater

2021 William J. Firth, John B. Geddes, Nathaniel J. Karst, and Gian-Luca Oppo, Analytic instability thresholds in folded Kerr resonators of arbitrary finesse, Physical Review A 103, 023510.

2017 Kaitlyn Keil, Alex Morrow, John B. Geddes, and Paul Ruvolo, Autonomous Sailing for Blind Sailors using GPS, Proceedings of OCEANS ’17.

2017 Nathaniel J. Karst, John B. Geddes, and Russell T. Carr, Model Microvascular Networks Can Have Many Equilibria, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 79, 662—681.

2015 Nathaniel J. Karst, Brian D. Storey, and John B. Geddes, Oscillations and Multiple Equilibria in Microvascular Blood Flow, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 77, 1377–1400.

2015 Brian D. Storey, Deborah V. Hellen, Nathanial J. Karst, and John B. Geddes, Observations of spontaneous oscillations in simple two-fluid networks, Physical Review E 91, 023004.

2014 Nathaniel J. Karst, Brian D. Storey, and John B. Geddes, Spontaneous oscillations in simple fluid networks, SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems 13, 157–180.

2013 Casey M. Karst, Brian D. Storey, and John B. Geddes, Laminar flow of two miscible fluids in a simple network, Physics of Fluids 25, 033601.

2011 Ilari Shafer, Morgan Boes, Rachel Nancollas, John B. Geddes, and Alisha Sieminski, Stability of a microvessel subject to structural adaptation of diameter and wall thickness, Mathematical Medicine and Biology 28, 271–286.

2010 John B. Geddes, Brian D. Storey, David Gardner, and Russell T. Carr, Bistability in a simple fluid network due to viscosity contrast, Physical Review E 81, 046316-1–7.

2010 David Gardner, Yiyang Li, Benjamin Small, John B. Geddes, and Rus- sell T. Carr, Multiple equilibrium states in a micro-vascular network, Mathematical Biosciences 227, 117–124.

2010 John B. Geddes, Russell T. Carr, Fan Wu, Yingyi Lao, and Meaghan Maher, Blood flow in microvascular networks: A study in nonlinear biology, Chaos 20, 045123-1–16.

2007 John B. Geddes, Russell T. Carr, Nathaniel J. Karst, and Fan Wu, The Onset of Oscillations in Microvascular Blood Flow, SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems 6, 694–727.

2005 Russell T. Carr, John B. Geddes, and Fan Wu, Oscillations in a simple microvascular network, Annals of Biomedical Engineering 33, 764–771.