John is Distinguished Professor of Physics and Geology at the University of California, Davis. He is a past Director of the California Institute for Hazard Research of the University of California, and currently serves as Executive Director of the APEC Cooperation for Earthquake Simulation (ACES), a consortium of 6 APEC economies whose goal is to understand the entire earthquake cycle by means of rigorous models and numerical simulations. For over thirty years, his research has focused on using statistical physics to understand the physics of earthquakes and other driven threshold systems. He has a particular interest in the development of methods for earthquake forecasting based on studies of chaos and complexity in driven nonlinear systems, as well as on the use of realistic, large scale numerical simulations. More recently, he has developed an interest in viewing crashes in economic and financial systems as a kind of “Econoquake” that might be understood by analogy to earthquakes and other first order (nucleation) phase transitions. To further these interests, he co-organizes a yearly symposium on the statistics of the financial markets, held in October every year at Morgan Stanley world headquarters on Times Square, NY. He has also co-founded a startup company in the area of global earthquake forecasting, general hazard analysis, and risk management for the global public (www.openhazards.com).
John has served the scientific community through membership on numerous boards and committees, including serving as a Member (1990 - 1997) and Chair (1994-1996) of the scientific Advisory Council to the Southern California Earthquake Center. He is a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (1995-present). He is an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, where he co-organizes a yearly conference on financial forecasting and risk (held this year at Morgan Stanley, NY on October 5, 2011). He is a Fellow of both the American Physical Society (2005) and the American Geophysical Union (2008). In 2012, the QuakeSim team, of which John is a founding member, won the NASA Software of the Year Award, one of NASA's two highest honors. John received his B.S.E from Princeton University (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi), and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles.