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Welcome to Cristina Masoller homepage


I am Associated Professor in the Departament de Física i Enginyeria Nuclear in UPC in the group on Nonlinear Dynamics, Nonlinear Optics and Lasers.

News & Events

o   ITN BE-OPTICAL will start Oct. 2015: 14 PhD positions, coordinator: C. Masoller.

o   Taciano Sorrentino defended his PhD thesis –July 2015.

o   Giulio Tirabassi (ITN LINC) defended his PhD thesis -June 2015.

o   New publication on inferring network connectivity from data. Scientific Reports, June 2015.

o   Ignacio Deza (ITN LINC) defended his PhD thesis -February 2015.

o   New publication on anticipating abrupt transitions from data. New Journal of Physics, February 2015.

o   European Semiconductor Laser Workshop, Madrid, Spain, September 2015.

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

Google scholar


Research Gate


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





Full list of publications (pdf files available) and a few selected publications. Find here my CV (last updated June 2015).

I am interested in the study of dynamical complex systems: systems that evolve in time, which are composed by interacting nonlinear elements. My goals are:

o   to extract new information from data (for understanding underlying phenomena, identification of transitions and interactions, etc.)

o   to exploit nonlinear dynamics for innovative applications.

Ongoing research:

o   Semiconductor lasers nonlinear dynamics (analysis of experimental data recorded in our lab and synthetic data simulated from laser models).

o   Climate data analysis and climate networks (we use re-analysis data from NCEP/NCAR and ERA Interim).

Regarding semiconductor lasers, we interested in:

o   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.

o   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, our 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, we aim at

o   identifying time-scales and direction of climate interactions (significant long-range teleconnections, local interactions among climate variables –temperature, wind, precipitation, etc.).

o   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 good candidates for testing novel data analysis tools (of classification, for the identification of recurrent patterns, for identifying signatures of determinism, etc.).

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

Projects: my research is funded by the EU Marie-Curie Initial Training Network ITN LINC (FP7 289447, 2011-2015), the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación through grant FIS2012-37655-C02-01 (2013-2015) and the European Office of Aerospace Research & Development (EOARD), through grant FA9550-14-1-0359 (2014-2016). The new ITN BE-OPTICAL will start October 2015 (H2020 675512). Read more about my projects.


In UPC I teach basic Introductory Physics courses and an optional course on Chaos and Control at Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyeries Industrial i Aeronàutica de Terrassa. I also teach the course “Laser systems and applications” for the Barcelona Master in Photonics. Read more about my teaching activities (including lecture notes).

Current PhD students: Carlos Quintero and Dario Zappala. Postdocs: Laura Carpi and Jose Maria Aparicio Reinoso.

Former PhD students: Jordi Zamora-Munt, Sandro Perrone, Andres Aragoneses, Ignacio Deza, Giulio Tirabassi and Taciano Sorrentino. Former postdoc: Cristian Bonatto.

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


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. Find here pictures of my graduation at BMC

Before joining UPC in 2004, from 1986 to 2004 I was Associated 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 home page in Uruguay). At UPC I was a Ramon and Cajal researcher (2004-2009) before becoming Associated Professor.

Schools, conferences and workshops

Attended, including presentations and photos.

Organized; find here the proceedings.

Member of professional societies

I am a member of the European Physical Society (EPS), the Optical Society of America (OSA), the Complex Systems Society (CSS) 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

You can find my favorite photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/77751779@N03/.

Contact information

My office and the Semiconductor Laser Laboratory are located at the 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

Fax: (0034)937398000