Predrag Cvitanović is an endowed Professor of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is highly regarded for his work in nonlinear dynamics, particularly his contributions to periodic orbit theory. Perhaps his best-known work is his introduction of cycle expansions—that is, expansions based on using periodic orbit theory—to approximate chaotic dynamics in a controlled perturbative way. This technique has proven to be widely useful for diagnosing and quantifying chaotic dynamics in problems ranging from atomic physics to neurophysiology.
Cvitanović worked briefly on a General Motors assembly line upon first arriving in the United States. Cvitanović earned his B.S. from MIT in 1969 and his Ph.D. at Cornell University in 1973. Before joining the physics department at the Georgia Institute of Technology he was the director of the Center for Chaos and Turbulence Studies of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen.
Cvitanović is a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, a corresponding member of Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, a recipient of the Research Prize of the Danish Physical Society, and a fellow of the American Physical Society.
In 2009 Cvitanović was the recipient of the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Prize for his work in turbulence theory