J. Tinsley Oden

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John Tinsley Oden
Born (1936-12-25) December 25, 1936 (age 78)
Nationality Flag of the United States.svg American
Fields Computational mechanics
Institutions Oklahoma State University
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
The University of Texas at Austin
Alma mater Louisiana State University
Oklahoma State University
Doctoral students J. N. Reddy, Noboru Kikuchi
Known for Finite Element Method
Notable awards Theodore von Kármán Medal (1992)
Timoshenko Medal (1996)
Honda Prize (2013)

J. Tinsley Oden (born December 25, 1936 in Alexandria, Louisiana) is the Associate Vice President for Research, the Director of the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, the Cockrell Family Regents' Chair in Engineering #2, the Peter O'Donnell, Jr. Centennial Chair in Computing Systems, a Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and a Professor of Mathematics at The University of Texas at Austin. Oden has been listed as an ISI Highly Cited Author in Engineering by the ISI Web of Knowledge, Thomson Scientific Company.[1]

Dr. Oden is the founding Director of the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES), which was created in January 2003 as an expansion of the Texas Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics, also directed by Oden for over a decade. The Institute supports broad interdisciplinary research and academic programs in computational engineering and sciences, involving four colleges and 17 academic departments within UT Austin.

He finished secondary school in Alexandria in 1955 and entered Louisiana State University in the fall of that year. He earned a B.S. degree in civil engineering from LSU in 1959. Dr. Oden earned a PhD in engineering mechanics from Oklahoma State University in 1962. He taught at OSU and The University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he was the head of the Department of Engineering Mechanics prior to going to Texas in 1973. He has held visiting professor positions at other universities in the United States, England, and Brazil.

An author of over 500 scientific publications: books, book chapters, conference papers, and monographs, Dr. Oden is an editor of the series, Finite Elements in Flow Problems and of Computational Methods in Nonlinear Mechanics. Among the 49 books and book chapters he has authored or edited are Contact Problems in Elasticity, a six-volume series: Finite Elements, An Introduction to the Mathematical Theory of Finite Elements, and several textbooks, including Applied Functional Analysis and Mechanics of Elastic Structures, and, more recently, A Posteriori Error Estimation in Finite Element Analysis, with M. Ainsworth. His treatise, Finite Elements of Nonlinear Continua, published in 1972 and subsequently translated into Russian, Chinese, and Japanese, is cited as having not only demonstrated the great potential of computational methods for producing quantitative realizations of the most complex theories of physical behavior of materials and mechanical systems, but also established computational mechanics as a new intellectually rich discipline that was built upon deep concepts in mathematics, computer sciences, physics, and mechanics. Computational Mechanics has since become a fundamentally important discipline throughout the world, taught in every major university, and the subject of continued research and intellectual activity. Dr. Oden has published extensively in this field and in related areas over the last three decades.

Honors and awards[edit]

In 2005, Dr. Oden was informed that he would receive an Honorary Doctorate, honoris causa, from Ecole Normale Superieure Cachan (ENSC), France. The honorary degree will be presented by the Board of the Scientific Council of ENSC in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of Computational Mechanics. In 2004, Dr. Oden was among the seven UT-Austin engineering faculty listed as the most highly cited researchers in the world from 1981–1999 in refereed, peer-reviewed journals, according to the International Scientific Index.

Dr. Oden is an Honorary Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and is a Fellow of six international scientific/technical societies: IACM, AAM, ASME, ASCE, SES, and BMIA. He is a Fellow, founding member, and first President of the U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics and the International Association for Computational Mechanics. He is a Fellow and past President of both the American Academy of Mechanics and the Society of Engineering Science. Among the numerous awards he has received for his work, Dr. Oden was awarded the A. C. Eringen Medal, the Worcester Reed Warner Medal, the Lohmann Medal, the Theodore von Karman Medal, the John von Neumann medal, the Newton/Gauss Congress Medal, and the Stephan P. Timoshenko Medal. He was also knighted as “Chevalier des Palmes Academiques” by the French government and he holds four honorary doctorates, honoris causa, from universities in Portugal (Technical University of Lisbon), Belgium (Faculte Polytechnique), Poland (Cracow University of Technology), and the United States (Presidential Citation, The University of Texas at Austin).

Dr. Oden is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the National Academies of Engineering of Mexico and of Brazil. He serves as Co-Chairman of the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) Panel for Sandia National Laboratories. He is a Member of the IUTAM Working Party 5 on Computational Mechanics and serves on numerous organizational, scientific and advisory committees for international conferences and symposia. He is an Editor of Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering and serves on the editorial board of 27 scientific journals.

Dr. Oden has worked extensively on the mathematical theory and implementation of numerical methods applied to problems in solid and fluid mechanics and, particularly, nonlinear continuum mechanics. His current research focuses on the subject of multi-scale modeling and on new theories and methods his group has developed for what they refer to as adaptive modeling. The core of any computer simulation is the mathematical model used to study the physical system of interest. They have developed methods that estimate modeling error and adapt the choices of models to control error. This has proven to be a powerful approach for multi-scale problems. Applications include semiconductors manufacturing at the nanoscale. Dr. Oden, along with ICES researchers, is also working on adaptive control methods in laser treatment of cancer, particular prostate cancer. This work involves the use of dynamic-data-driven systems to predict and control the outcome of laser treatments using the adaptive modeling strategies.

Information on this page was obtained from both The University of Texas at Austin and Louisiana State University.


  • Finite Elements of Nonlinear Continua, Dover Publications, 2006.
  • An Introduction to the Mathematical Theory of Finite Elements, with J. N. Reddy, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1976.
  • Applied Functional Analysis, Prentice Hall, 1979.
  • Mechanics of Elastic Structures, 2nd ed., with E. A. Ripperger, McGraw-Hill Inc., 1981.
  • Finite Elements an Introduction, volume 1, with E. B. Becker and G. F. Carey, 1981.
  • Finite Elements in Fluids, volume 2, with O. C. Zienkiewicz, R. H. Gallagher, and C. Taylor, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1976.
  • Finite Elements in Fluids, volume 4 with R. H. Gallagher, D. N. Norrie, and O. C. Zienkiewicz, Wiley, Chichester, 1982.
  • Finite Elements in Fluids, volume 6, with R. H. Gallagher, G. F. Carey, and O.C. Zienkiewicz, Wiley, Chichester, 1985.
  • State of the Art Survey in Computational Fluid Mechanics, with A. K. Noor, ASME, 1988.
  • Computational Methods in Nonlinear Mechanics, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1980.


External links[edit]

J. Tinsley Oden at the Mathematics Genealogy Project