Meet the Dean

William DittoDr. William L. Ditto is dean of the College of Sciences at NC State, serving as the lead administrator for an organization with 3,700 students, 620 faculty, staff and postdoctoral researchers, and $50 million in annual research expenditures.

Ditto joined NC State in September 2015 after serving for four years as dean of the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. During his tenure, the college added more than 30 tenure-track faculty and exponentially increased research funding. An expert in nonlinear dynamics and chaotic systems, Ditto led the Applied Chaos Laboratory at the university that made discoveries in reconfigurable computing, chaotic computing and astrophysics. His findings have been used to study new ways of controlling heart arrhythmias, seizures and epilepsy.

Before joining Hawaii’s flagship public university, Ditto served as founding director of Arizona State University’s School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering and was the Olin Chair of Biomedical Engineering. From 2002 to 2009, he served as founding chair for the University of Florida’s biomedical engineering department, which under his leadership became the first named department at the university. During that time he co-founded ChaoLogix, a spinoff company from the university that developed the first computer chip based on chaos theory.

Ditto was also a founding faculty member of the joint Emory-Georgia Tech biomedical engineering department, and served as a physics professor at both Georgia Tech and the College of Wooster. He started his career as a scientist in the U.S. Department of the Navy.

Ditto has authored or co-authored 190 refereed publications and more than 20 patents in his field, and has made more than 70 invited presentations at workshops and conferences in the United States and around the globe. In recognition of his research achievements, Ditto has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, among many other honors.

Ditto earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from UCLA in 1980 and his doctorate in physics from Clemson University in 1988.