Matthew J. Hoffman

Assistant Professor, School of Mathematical Sciences, RIT

My research interests include oceanic and atmospheric dynamics, data assimilation, remote sensing, vehicle tracking, and cardiac electrical dymamics.

Contact Information


Current Projects:

1. Comparison of 4DVAR and LETKF in Assimilating JPSS-Derived Sea-Surface Temperature in the Chesapeake Bay Operational Forecasting System

Funding source: NOAA/University of Maryland

In an effort to improve operational forecasting the Chesapeake Bay we are comparing two state-of-the-art data assimilation systems for use on the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Operational Forecast System (CBOFS) model: 4D-Var and Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter. We are testing both systems using simulated data and real satellite sea-surface temperature (SST) data provided by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).


2. Intramural Forecasting of Cardiac Electrical dynamics

Funding source: NSF

In an attempt to improve understanding of the dynamics of electrical waves in the heart during arrhythmias, particularly in the interior of the tissue, we are coupling a Local Ensemble Transform Kalman filter (LETKF) based data-assimilation system with numerical models of electrical wave propogation. Simulated data is being used for initial testing, before moving onto real data obtained using optical mapping techniques. This work is done in collaboration with Elizabeth Cherry at RIT and Flavio Fenton at Georgia Tech.


3. DDDAS for Object Tracking in Complex and Dynamic Environments (DOTCODE)

Funding source: AFOSR

We are using dynamic data-driven application system (DDDAS) principles to control an adaptive optical sensor for the purpose vehicle tracking. The DDDAS system involves object detection, an adaptive set of vehicle motion models, a background identification and elimination scheme, data assimilation from a Gaussian sum filter, and intersection and road network detection from crowdsourced data. For our adaptive sensing data we are using high resolution video generated by DIRSIG. This work is done in collaboration with Anthony Vodacek at RIT.


Past Projects:

1. Mars Atmospheric Data Assimilation and Climate Reanalysis

Funding source: NASA

We coupled the Local Ensemble Transform Kalman filter to atmospheric model of the Martian atmosphere to improve understanding of atmospheric dynamics. We used simuilated data to test the system and then moved on to atmospheric profiles derived from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. We also have used the model to explore bred vectors in the Martian atmophere and compute energy transfer locations and mechanisms. This project is still ongoing and is being led by Steven Greybush at Penn State. It is also a collaboration with my Ph.D. advisor, Eugenia Kalnay, at University of Maryland, as well as John Wilson at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and Ross Hoffman at AER.


2. Derivation of Chesapeake Bay Surface Salinity from Satellite Radiances

When I was a postdoc at Johns Hopkins, I assisted on Ph.D. work done by Erin Urquhart, now at University of New Hampshire, and her advisor Ben Zaitchik. We tested a number of statistical prediction models to see if salinity measurements could be derived from reflectances observed from MODIS and found that saliniy could be predicted with statistically significant value added by the radiances. Erin has extended this work to look for vibrio in the Bay.


Current Graduate Students:

Burak Uzkent (Ph.D.), DDDAS for Object Tracking in Complex and Dynamic Environments

Former Graduate Students (with thesis title and current positions):

Stephen Scorse (M.S.), An Approach for Applying Data Assimilation Techniques for Studying Cardiac Arrhythmias, Epic Systems Corporation.

Jessica Beiter (M.S.), An SIR Approach to Modeling Business Interactions in a Marketplace, Epic Systems Corporation.

Curriculum Vitae (pdf version)


  • Ph.D., Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computation, University of Maryland, College Park, 2009
  • M.S., Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computation, University of Maryland, College Park, 2007
  • B.A., Mathematics and Astrophysics, Williams College, 2004


  • Assistant Professor, School of Mathematical Science, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Program Faculty, Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, Rochester Institute of Technology


  1. Uzkent, B., M.J. Hoffman, A. Vodacek, and B. Chen. 2014. Feature Matching with an Adaptive Optical Sensor in a Ground Target Tracking System, Sensors Journal IEEE, 99, doi:10.1109/JSEN.2014.2346152.

  2. Urquhart, E, M.J. Hoffman, R. R. Murphy, and B.F. Zaitchik, 2013. Geospatial Interpolation of MODIS-Derived Salinity and Temperature in the Chesapeake Bay. Remote Sensing of the Environment, 135, 167-177.

    Uzkent, B., M.J. Hoffman, A. Vodacek, J. P. Kerekes, and B. Chen. 2013. Feature Matching and Adaptive Prediction Models in an Object Tracking DDDAS. Procedia Computer Science, 18, 1939-1948, doi: 10.1016/j.procs.2013.05.363.

  3. Greybush, S.J., E. Kalnay, M.J. Hoffman, R.J. Wilson. 2013. Identifying Martian atmospheric instabilities and their physical origins using bred vectors. Q. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 123 (672), 639-653, doi: 10.1002/qj.1990.

  4. Hoffman, M.J., T. Miyoshi, T. Haine, K. Ide, R. Murtugudde, and C.W. Brown. 2012. An advanced data assimilation system for the Chesapeake Bay. J. Atmos. and Oceanic Tech., 29, 1542-1557., 10.1175/JTECH-D-11-00126.1.

  5. Urquhart, E, M.J. Hoffman, B.F. Zaitchik, S. Guikema, and E.F. Geiger. 2012. Remotely Sensed Estimates of Surface Salinity in the Chesapeake Bay. Remote Sensing of the Environment. 123, 522-531, doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2012.04.008.
  • Greybush, S. J., R. J. Wilson, R. N. Hoffman, M. J. Hoffman, T. Miyoshi, K. Ide, T. McConnochie, and E. Kalnay. 2012. Ensemble Kalman Filter Data Assimilation of Thermal Emission Spectrometer Temperature Retrievals into a Mars GCM. J. Geophys. Res., 117, E11008, doi: 10.1029/2012JE004097.
  1. Vodacek, A., J. P. Kerekes, and M.J. Hoffman. 2012. Adaptive optical sensing in an object tracking DDDAS. Procedia Computer Science, 9, 1159-1166, 10.1016/j.procs.2012.04.125.

  2. Hoffman, M.J., J. Eluszkeiwicz, D. Weisenstein, G. Uymin, and J.-L. Moncet. 2012. A Critical Assessment of Mars Atmospheric Temperature Retrievals from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer Measurements. Icarus, 220 (2), 1031-1039, 10.1016/j/icarus.2012.06.039.

  3. Hoffman, M.J., S.J. Greybush, R.J. Wilson, G. Gyarmati, R.N. Hoffman, E. Kalnay, K. Ide, E. Kostelich, T. Miyoshi, I. Szunyogh. 2010. An ensemble Kalman filter data assimilation system for the Martian atmosphere: Implementation and simulation experiments. Icarus, 209, 470-481, DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2010.03.034.

  4. Hoffman, M.J., E. Kalnay, J.A. Carton, and S.C. Yang. 2009. Use of breeding to detect and explain instabilities in the global ocean. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L12608,
    DOI: 10.1029/2009GL037729.

  5. Gibbons, K.S., M.J. Hoffman, and W.K. Wootters. 2004. Discrete phase space based on finite fields. Phys. Rev. A 70, 062101, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.70.062101.

Contact Me

Office: 3224 Gosnell Hall


Phone: (585) 420-6288

Fax: (585) 475-6627

Mailing Address: 85 Lomb Memorial Dr., Rochester, NY 14623-5602