Patrick Kessler, (Click HERE to visit my new site.)

Please enjoy the mesmerizing motion of Euler's Disk as it rolls without slipping over a surface:

My goal is to develop a pervasive understanding of dynamics in a mathematical context. Machines fascinate me, even simple ones like Euler's Disk. Describing these with images and numbers is what engineering is all about.

I just finished six wonderful years in Mechanical Engineering at U.C. Berkeley. I have had a wonderful time solving various problems under the direction of Oliver O'Reilly. I am currently working at a south bay fruit company, where I design cool gadgets and gizmos, sort of like these.
Research Interests:
Characterizing the geometry of tangled physical curves, such as the backbone curves of protein molecules. Data visualization. Simulation of dynamical systems. Vehicle navigation and control. Numerical methods in mechanics.
P. Kessler,  On the Shapes of Tangled Curves, October, 2007.
This is my Dissertation.
P. Kessler and O. M. O'Reilly, Curve Encirclement and Protein Structure,
Published in PRL.
P. Kessler,  A Geometric Characterization of Solutions to the Algebraic Riccati Equation, September, 2006.
This is my Math Masters Thesis, which I worked on under the guidance of Maciej Zworski. Berkeley's bizzare
thesis formatting rules increased the length of my work by a factor of 3, click here for the long version.
P. Kessler, O. M. O'Reilly, A.L. Raphael and M. Zworski,
On Dissipation-Induced Destabilization and Brake Squeal: A Structured Pseudospectral Perspective,
Published in JSV.
J.P. Coaplen, P. Kessler, O.M. O'Reilly, D.M. Stevens, and J.K. Hedrick,
On Navigation Systems for Motorcycles, The Journal of Navigation, vol. 58, pp. 375-388, (2005).
P. Kessler,  Motorcycle Navigation with Two Sensors, UC Berkeley Mechanical Engineering M.S. Thesis,
March 2004.
S.M. Shahruz, P. Kessler,  Residual Motion in Damped Linear Systems,
Journal of Sound and Vibration. Vol. 276(3-5), pp. 1093-1100 (2004).
P. Kessler, O.M. O'Reilly,  The Ringing of Euler’s Disk, Regular and Chaotic Dynamics.
Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 49-60 (2002). This paper has been translated into Russian!
Other Printed Matter:
A letter I sent to the editors of American Scientist got printed in vol. 93, num. 6, Nov-Dec 2005.
Unfortunately, the short algorithm I suggested for flipping mattresses was misprinted in the magazine.
A recent article in Forfront explains how Oliver and some of his students (including me) use toys to
understand major concepts in mechanics.
Oliver and I were thrilled to have our work on spinning disks mentioned in The Velocity of Honey by
Jay Ingram. If you're interested in a chatty and accessible exposition of various hot topics in modern
day science, you should definitely buy this book.
I am very happy to have received Berkeley's Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award!
My GSI History:
2004, Spring: E77 with Panos Papadopoulos and Michael Frenklach. Evaluations
2004, Fall: E77 with Panos Papadopoulos and Andrew Packard (as head GSI). Evaluations
2005, Spring: E77 with Jaime Rector. Evaluations
2005, Fall: E77 with Roberto Horowitz and Robert Dibble. Evaluations
2006, Spring: Math128a with John Neu. Also helped Oliver O'Reilly with ME175. Evaluations
2006, Fall: ME170 with Oliver O'Reilly. Evaluations
2007, Spring: ME175 with James Casey and ME104 with Fai Ma. Evaluations
Academic History:
(All degrees awarded by the University of California at Berkeley.)
Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering -October, 2007.
M.A. Mathematics -September, 2006.
M.S. Mechanical Engineering -March, 2004.
B.S. Mechanical Engineering -May, 2001.
My Notes:
  • Partial Fractions Expansion.
  • Equations of motion for a chain of point masses.
  • Summary of Operator Facts and Terminology from Linear Algebra Done Right.
  • Integrability of vector fields.
  • The Serret-Frenet Triad.
  • Links:
  • Thesis Statement Tips
  • The Cal Running Club!
  • Berkeley Juggling.
  • A wonderful site for visualizing juggling patterns.
  • Timezone, an active community of watch enthusiasts. The articles published here are great!
  • ThePurists, more watch enthusiasts. Articles, watch reviews, and links to other sites.
  • Horology: the index, an out of date index to some neat clock and watch sites.
  • George Hart: Reminds me of Escher.
  • Arthur Ganson: A sculpter of marvelous machines.
  • Biographies of Mathematicians
  • The Long Now foundation. These guys are building an incredible clock.
  • My brother likes neurons, my dad likes France, and my mom likes to play the harp.
  • Personal Interests:
  • making things
  • travelling to exotic locals. I just got back from a trip to Peru!
  • designing, building, and repairing anything horological
  • theory, history and continuing developement of watch and clock mechanisms
  • athletics: running, unicycling, juggling, hiking, frisbee, soccer, etc
  • media and graphic design, especially data visualization
  • novel and ingenious mechanisms, like astrolabes and planemeters
  • dynamics and differential geometry
  • sculpture and spatial form (i can wander around museums for hours)
  • Dali, Escher and so on
  • anything challanging to my imagination
  • writing and sketching (i try to keep a journal)
  • cheap novels, literature, and books on history
  • music: Bach, Beethovan, Mozart, Madonna, Kylie, Queen, Shakira and lots more
  • piano & organ playing (unfortunately for my neighbors)
  • stirling cycle engines
  • mechancial computers: adding machines, slide rules, etc
  • Contact: Continuum Mechanics Lab 2165 Etcheverry Hall (tel. 510-642-4974).