Zach Clawson


Zach Clawson

Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics

Former address:
Center for Applied Mathematics
657 Rhodes Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853


Hi! In January 2017 completed my Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at Cornell, with a minor in CSE. I completed my BS in Applied Mathematics from NC State in May 2011 as a valedictorian. My first three years at Cornell, I was supported under a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

My research area is a blend of algorithms, non-linear PDE, optimal control, and numerical analysis / scientific computing; typically geared towards robotic path-planning applications. My Ph.D. committee consisted of my advisor Alex Vladimirsky, along with two other members: David Bindel and John Guckenheimer.

After graduating I took a job as a Research Scientist at a company in Silicon Valley.

You can still contact me via email at


A bi-criteria path planning algorithm for robotics applications
Zachary Clawson, Xuchu (Dennis) Ding, Brendan Englot,
Thomas A. Frewen, William M. Sisson, Alexander Vladimirsky
Submitted for publication

Optimal Control with Budget Constraints and Resets
Ryo Takei, Weiyen Chen, Zachary Clawson, Slav Kirov, and Alexander Vladimirsky
SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization 53 (2), 712-744 (2015)
[Source Code (C++ via MEX) | Journal Publication | Expanded Pre-print]

Causal Domain Restriction for Eikonal Equations
Zachary Clawson, Adam Chacon, and Alexander Vladimirsky
SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing 36 (5), A2478-A2505 (2014)


Fall 2016: Math 2220 - Multivariable Calculus

Recitation Leader (Teaching Assistant)

Head instructor: Dr. Bo Yang

Spring 2016: Math 1106 - Calculus for the Life and Social Sciences

Recitation Leader (Teaching Assistant)

Head instructor: Dr. Steven Strogatz

Fall 2015: Math 3610 - Mathematical Modeling

Grader (Teaching Assistant)

Head instructor: Dr. Alexander Vladimirsky

Spring 2015: Math 1920 - Multivariable Calculus for Engineers

Recitation Leader (Teaching Assistant)

Recitation TA (twice a week) for two sections of Math 1920. Multivariable calculus is a core topic in any area of engineering and applied mathematics.

Responsibilities: Homework, Holding Workshops, Teaching Recitation, Reviews, Exams.

Head instructor: Dr. Maria Terrell

Previous experience »

Other materials


List of courses taken

List of courses taken at NCSU and Cornell. Includes some self-created study guides for some of the courses.


Solving first-order nonlinear PDE

Notes from my final presentation for MATH 6200 at Cornell. Much of the material related to the method of characteristics comes from Evans' text, with some added diagrams and notes. Also, some notes on Calculus Variation vs. Bellman's Optimality Principle.

Zach Clawson (
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