Martin Feinberg
 Faculty Emeritus, Chemical & Biomolecular Eng

520 CBEC
151 W. Woodruff Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210
 6146884883
About
Education
 B.Ch.E., Cooper Union, 1962
 M.S., Purdue University, 1963
 Ph.D., Princeton University, 1968
Key Honors and Distinctions
 Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching (highest teaching honor at Ohio State; sole recipient), 2014
 Wilhelm Lectures, Princeton University, 2011
 Amundson Lectures, University of Houston, 2006
 John Von Neumann Lecture in Theoretical Biology, Institute for Advanced Study, 1997
 Wilhelm Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1996
 MacQuigg Award for Undergraduate Teaching, Ohio State University, 1999
 Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, University of Rochester, 1994
 Camille & Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar, 1974
RESEARCH AREAS  Feinberg Group for Chemical Reaction Network Theory
 Complex Chemical Systems.
 Emeritus  no longer accepting graduate students.
 PUBLICATIONS AND PATENTS
Chemical Reaction Network Theory. My students and I are interested in complex chemical systems in which several reactions occur simultaneously. Real systems are almost always of this kind, so it becomes important to understand reactors with complicated chemistry in a systematic way.
Complex chemistry gives rise to intricate systems of nonlinear equations that don’t lend themselves to analytic solution. What’s more, increased complexity in the governing equations can give rise to complicated new phenomena that simple systems don’t admit. Even in the isothermal setting normally studied in biology there can, for example, be unstable steady states, multiple steady states, sustained composition oscillations, and wild, chaotic dynamics—possibilities we need to take into account.
Since each new network of chemical reactions gives rise to its own complicated system of differential equations, it becomes apparent that, in the absence of an overarching theory, we would be forced to study complex chemical systems on a casebycase basis, and each new case would be fraught with terrible analytical difficulties. What’s needed is a way of looking at things from a broader and more general perspective.
That’s what Chemical Reaction Network Theory tries to do. The aim of the theory is to tie aspects of reaction network structure in a precise way to the variety of qualitative behaviors that might be engendered. A lot of progress has been made along these lines, but there is also much that remains unknown. For more on chemical reaction network theory, see the annotated bibliography.
Other Areas of Study. Although my attention now is largely focused on chemical reaction network theory, with particular reference to biology, I maintain an interest in two other areas with which I was intensely occupied in the past. One of these is mathematical foundations of classical thermodynamics. Another is a general theory of reactorseparator design, which has some ties, at least in spirit, with classical thermodynamics and with reaction network theory. In particular, I am interested in understanding theoretical limits to what can be achieved, consistent with certain design constraints, over all possible steadystate designs (even unimagined ones) that are consistent with those constraints. Articles about both topics can be found in the annotated bibliography.
Honors

2011
Wilhelm Lectures. Princeton University.

2005
Amundson Lectures. University of Houston.

2005
Distinguished Scholar Award. The Ohio State University.

2001
Scott Faculty Award for Research and Teaching. The Ohio State University.

1999
MacQuigg Award for Undergraduate Teaching. The Ohio State University.

1997
John Von Neumann Lecture in Theoretical Biology. Institute for Advanced Study.

1996
R.H. Wilhelm Award. American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

1995
Plenary Lecturer, Third SIAM Conference on Applications of Dynamical Systems. SIAM Conference.

1994
Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. University of Rochester.

1974
Camille & Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar. Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation.