Jon Machta

External Professor

Jon Machta is a Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He received a PhD in Physics from MIT in 1980.  He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Maryland, the Weizmann Institute, IBM and NYU. His expertise is in statistical physics with an emphasis on computational methods and applications to complex systems.  His has used ideas from computational complexity theory to develop an understanding of physical complexity and how to quantify it.  He is known for developing Monte Carlo algorithms for simulating glassy and complex systems.  These algorithms are also useful for solving optimization problems and he consults in the private sector on optimization algorithms.  He is currently involved in interdisciplinary work in ecology, using the statistical physics of spin models to understand synchronous behavior in spatially extended populations.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.