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Welcome to Cristina Masoller homepage

I am Associate Professor of Physics at UPC in the Nonlinear Dynamics, Nonlinear Optics and Lasers research group.

I am interested in nonlinear phenomena, complex systems and data analysis.

News & Events

o   ITN BE-OPTICAL video –November 2015.


o   The LINC project was featured in Terrassa News Paper –November 2015.


o   I was elected Fellow of the Optical Society (OSA) –October 2015.


o   ITN BE-OPTICAL started: 14 PhD positions available.


o   Extreme Events in Complex Optical Systems (EECOS), Buenos Aires, December 2015


o   Taciano Sorrentino defended his PhD thesis –July 2015.


o   Giulio Tirabassi defended his PhD thesis –June 2015.

Latest publications

o   Effects of noise on the permutation entropy. New Journal of Physics Sep. 2015.

o   Inferring network connectivity from data. Scientific Reports –June 2015.

Google scholar ORCID ResearcherID LinkedIn ResearchGate

Click on the images from our recent work to download the papers




Here is the list of my publications (pdf files available) and here, a few selected publications. Here is my CV (updated Nov. 2015).


I am interested in dynamical complex systems: systems that evolve in time, which are composed by interacting nonlinear elements. My research is aimed at:

extracting new information from observed data (for understanding underlying phenomena, identification of transitions and interactions, etc.)

exploiting nonlinear dynamics for innovative applications.


Ongoing research:

Semiconductor laser dynamics: we analyse experimental data recorded in our lab and synthetic data simulated from laser models.

Climate data analysis: we analyse data from NCEP/NCAR and ERA Interim.

Methods of data analysis: complex networks, symbolic analysis, information theory, complexity and similarity measures (permutation entropy, mutual information, etc.).


Regarding semiconductor lasers, I am interested in:

– extreme optical pulses and optical rogue waves: identifying mechanisms triggering these extreme events and mechanisms able to suppress them; developing “big data” analysis tools for extreme event identification and early-warning indicators,

optical spikes: we are interested in “optical neurons” that could be building blocks of photonics ultra-fast, neuro-inspired information processing systems.


Regarding climate data analysis, my goal is to develop novel “big data” analysis tools that can contribute to advance our understanding of the Earth climate dynamics, which can in turn contribute to improve climate models and predictions. More specifically, I am interested in:

– identifying time-scales and direction of interactions (significant long-range teleconnections, local interactions among climate variables),

– identifying geographical regions with similar climate (climate communities).


Semiconductor lasers and climate data analysis might seem unrelated research fields; however, we exploit the experimental laser setup for recording time-series under controllable conditions, which allow for testing novel data analysis tools. Semiconductor lasers with optical feedback generate complex intensity fluctuations (neither fully random, nor fully regular) that involve a wide-range of time-scales; thus, they are appropriate for testing novel data analysis tools (of classification, for the identification of recurrent patterns, for identifying signatures of determinism, etc.).



My research is funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación through grant FIS2012-37655-C02-01 (2013-2015). In addition, my work in climate data analysis is funded by the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Initial Traning Network (ITN) LINC that I coordinate (FP7 289447, 2011-2015); my work in semiconductor laser dynamics and specifically, neuron-like optical spikes, is partially funded by ITN NETT (Neural Engineering Transformative Technologies, FP7 289146). Recently I started a new research line in biomedical applications (novel semiconductor-based light sources and data analysis tools). This research is funded by ITN BE-OPTICAL that I coordinate (H2020 675512, started Oct. 2015). Here is more information about my projects.


People involved

Here is a list of present and former team members and image gallery.


Conferences, workshops, seminars, schools

Here is a list of conferences etc. that I attended, including some recent presentations and photos.

Here is the list of the events that I have organized over the years and here links to the published proceedings.



I teach introductory physics courses for engineering students at Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyeries Industrial i Aeronàutica de Terrassa (ETSEIAT) and the course “Laser systems and applications” for the Barcelona Master in Photonics. Here is more information about my teaching activities (including lecture notes).



I received my Bachelor (1989) and MSc (1991) degrees in physics from Universidad de la República, Uruguay. I received my PhD (1999) degree in physics from Bryn Mawr College (BMC), Pennsylvania, USA. My PhD thesis was on Nonlinear Dynamics in Semiconductor Lasers with Optical Feedback, supervised by Prof. Neal B. Abraham. Before joining UPC in 2004, from 1986 to 2004 I was Associate Professor at the Instituto de Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Uruguay, where I still have many friends and collaborators (you might have noticed that I keep my web page in Uruguay). At UPC I was a Ramon and Cajal researcher (2004-2009).


Member of professional societies

I am a member of the European Physical Society (EPS), the Optical Society (OSA) and the Catalan network COMPLEXITAT.CAT. I am vice chair of the IUPAP Commission on Laser Physics and Photonics and Spanish Representative in the COST Action MP1403 - Nanoscale Quantum Optics


Hobbies and other personal stuff

Here are some of my favourite photos.


Looking for an undergraduate project (TFG), a summer internship, or a PhD project? Find here information for prospective students. Interested? Contact us!


Contact information

My office and the semiconductor laser lab are located at Gaia Building (map), UPC Campus Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain.

cristina.masoller @ upc.edu, cristina.masoller @ gmail.com

Colom 11, Terrassa 08222, Barcelona, Spain

Tel: (0034)937398507