Contact: Pamela Bogdanski

Department Administrator

Chemical Engineering

(734) 764-7368

3074E H.H.Dow

Robert Ziff | Faculty

Robert Ziff

Professor: Chemical Engineering, Macromolecular Science and Engineering; ChE Graduate Program Advisor

B28-G060W NCRC
Phone: (734) 764-5498
Fax: (734) 764-7453
Cell: (734) 905-4477



Short Bio


The Rockefeller University
PhD Statistical Physics '76

University of California at Los Angeles
BS Physics '71


  • Physical Review E, Associate Editor, 2002 - 2007
  • Physical Review E, Editorial Board, 1993-1995, 1996-1998
  • Fractals, Editorial Board, 1993-2002
  • Philosophical Magazine Letters B, Editorial Board, 1995-2007


  • Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering (1997-Present)
  • Professor, Macromolecular Science and Engineering Department
  • Member, Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics, (2001-Present)
  • Member, Center for the Study of Complex Systems, (2009-Present)
  • Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering (1988-1997)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering (1982-1988)


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry (1978-1982)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry (1978-1982)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Low Temperature Physics Laboratory, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (1976-1978)


Included in his research history are research in the area of cryogenics (especially in liquid helium) at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and the study of statistical mechanics of gas and polymer systems while in the mechanical engineering and chemistry departments at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

This is a representation of a percolation cluster from a simulation program that Dr. Ziff helped develop. This program uses fractals and statistical fractal quantities to simulate and study such processes as flow of fluid through porous rock, gelation, the spread of epidemics, and chemical reactions. Studies using this program were featured in the Jul/Aug 1994 issue of Computers in Physics.



  • ChE 330 - Thermodynamics II
  • ChE 460 - Unit Operations Lab
  • ChE 466 - Process Dynamics and Control
  • ChE 510 - Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering
  • ChE 527 - Fluids
  • ChE 538 - Statistical and Irreversible Thermodynamics
  • ChE 595 - Chemical Engineering Research Survey
  • ChE 696 - Percolation and Fractals

Honors & Awards

  • Department of Chemical Engineering Award for Excellence in Research 1996
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • Outstanding Referee award of the Physical Review, 2009


Robert M. Ziff, "Scaling behavior of explosive percolation on the square lattice," Physical Review E 82, 051105 (3 November 2010).doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.82.051105

Christian R. Scullard and Robert M. Ziff, "Critical surfaces for general inhomogeneous bond percolation problems," J. Stat. Mech. 2010, P03021 (March 2010) doi: 10.1088/1742-5468/2010/03/P03021

David A Adams, Leonard M Sander and Robert M Ziff, "Fractal dimensions of the Q-state Potts model for complete and external hulls," J. Stat. Mech. P03004 (March, 2010). doi: 10.1088/1742-5468/2010/03/P03004

Stefan Boettcher, Jessica L. Cook and Robert M. Ziff, “Patchy percolation on a hierarchical network with small-world bonds,” Physical Review E 80 (4), 041115 (13 October 2009).

Adam M. Becker and Robert M. Ziff, “Percolation thresholds on two-dimensional Voronoi networks and Delaunay triangulations,” Physical Review E 80 (4), 041101 (1 October 2009).

D. A. Adams, Yen Ting Lin, L. M. Sander and R. M. Ziff, “Harmonic measure for critical Potts clusters,” Physical Review E 80 (3), 031141 (28 September 2009).

R. M. Ziff, S. N. Majumdar, and A. Comtet, “Capture of particles undergoing discrete random walks,” J. Chem. Phys., 130, 204104 (27 May 2009).

Robert M. Ziff, “Explosive growth in biased dynamic percolation on two-dimensional regular lattice networks,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 045701 (22 July 2009)

D. A. Adams, L. M. Sander, E. Somfai and R. M.Ziff, “The harmonic measure of diffusion-limited aggregates including rareevents,” Europhysics Letters 87 (2), 20001 (16 July 2009)

Robert M. Ziff, Satya N.Majumdar, and Alain Comtet, “Capture of particles undergoing discrete randomwalks,” J. Chem. Phys. 130, 204104 (27 May 2009)

Robert M. Ziff, Satya N.Majumdar, and Alain Comtet, “Capture of particles undergoing discrete randomwalks,” J. Chem. Phys. 130, 204104 (27 May 2009)

Jacob J. H. Simmons, Robert M.Ziff and Peter Kleban,“Factorization of percolation density correlation functions for clusters touching the sides of a rectangle,”, J. Stat. Mech. Th. Exp. 2009, P02067 (33pages) (27 Feb 2009) doi: 10.1088/1742-5468/2009/02/P02067

Robert M. Ziff and Hang Gu, “Universal condition for critical percolation thresholds of kagomé-likelattices,” Phys. Rev. E 79, 020102(18 Feb 2009)

Amir Haji-Akbari and Robert M. Ziff, “Percolation in networks with voids and bottlenecks,” Phys.Rev. E 79, 021118 (18 Feb 2009)

Satya N. Majumdar and Robert M. Ziff, “Universal Record Statistics of Random Walks and Lévy Flights,” Phys. Rev. Lett., 101, 050601, 2008.

Christian R. Scullard and Robert M. Ziff, “Critical Surfaces for General Bond Percolation Problems,” Phys. Rev. Lett., 100, 185701, 2008.

Jacob J. H. Simmons, Peter Kleban, and Robert M. Ziff, “Exact factorization of correlation functions in two-dimensional critical percolation,” Phys. Rev. E, 76, 041106, 2007.

Peter Kleban, Jacob J. Simmons, and Robert M. Ziff , “Anchored Critical Percolation Clusters and 2D Electrostatics,” Phys. Rev. Lett., 97, 115702, 2006.

R. M. Ziff and P. Grassberger, "Efficient algorithms for rare-event multiple cluster crossing in critical percolation." In preparation.

R. M. Ziff and M. E. J. Newman, "Convergence of threshold estimates for two-dimensional percolation," Physical Review E 66, 016129 (10 pages) (29 July 2002).

R. M. Ziff and John Cardy, "Exact area distribution for critical percolation, Ising and Potts model clusters," Journal of Statistical Physics (in press, 2002)

Christian D. Lorenz, Ramin Haghgooie, Chevarous Kennebrew, and R. M. Ziff, "The effects of surface defects in a catalysis model," Surface Science (in press, 2002)

R. M. Ziff, "The hull-gradient method and site percolation on the square lattice, "International Journal of Modern Physics C (Computational) (being revised).

M. E. J. Newman, I. Jensen, and R. M. Ziff, "Percolation and epidemics in a two-dimensional small world network," Physical Review E 65, 021904 (7 pages) (16 January 2002).

Gerald Paul, R. M. Ziff, H. E. Stanley, "Percolation Threshold, Fisher Exponent, and Shortest Path Exponent for 4 and 5 Dimensions," Physical Review E 64, 026115 (23 July 2001).

M. E. J. Newman and R. M. Ziff, "A fast Monte Carlo algorithm for site or bond percolation," Physical Review E 64, 016706 (27 June 2001)

C. D. Lorenz and R. M. Ziff, "Excess number of percolation clusters on a sphere," Physica A 296: 1-8 (2001).

C. D. Lorenz and R. M. Ziff, "Precise determination of the critical percolation threshold for the three-dimensional ‘Swiss Cheese" model using a growth algorithm," Journal of Chemical Physics 114 (8): 3659-3661 (22 February 2001)

M. E. J. Newman and R. M. Ziff, "Efficient Monte Carlo algorithm and high-precision results for percolation," Physical Review Letters 85 (19): 4104-4107 (6 Nov 2000)

J. Quintanilla, S. Torquato, and R. M. Ziff, "Efficient measurement of the percolation threshold for fully penetrable discs," Journal of Physics A 33 (42): L399-L407 (27 October 2000).

D. Stauffer and R. M. Ziff, "Reexamination of seven-dimensional site percolation thresholds," International Journal of Modern Physics C (Computational) 11 (1): 205-209 (February 2000).

Christian D. Lorenz, Raechelle May, and Robert M. Ziff, "Similarity of percolation thresholds on the HCP and FCC lattices," Journal of Statistical Physics 98 (3-4): 961-970 (February 2000).

Robert M. Ziff, "Exact critical exponent for the shortest-path scaling function in percolation," Journal of Physics A 32 (43): L457-L459 (29 October 1999).

Robert M. Ziff and Filip Babalievski, "Site percolation threshold on the Penrose rhomb lattice," Physica A 269 (2-4): 201-210 (15 July 1999).

Paul N. Suding and Robert M. Ziff, "Site percolation thresholds for Archimedean lattices," Physical Review E 60 (1): 275-283 (July 1999).

Robert M. Ziff, Christian D. Lorenz and Peter Kleban, "Shape-dependent universality in percolation," Physica A 266 (1-4): 17-26 (15 April 1999).

Christian D. Lorenz and Robert M. Ziff, "Universality of the excess number of clusters and the crossing probability function in three-dimensional percolation," Journal of Physics A 31 (40): 8147-8157 (9 October 1998).

Robert M. Ziff, "Four-tap shift-register-sequence random-number generators, "Computers in Physics 12 (4): 385-392 (Jul/Aug 1998).

R. Dennis Vigil and Robert M. Ziff, "On the scaling theory of two-component aggregation," Chemical Engineering Science 53 (9): 1725-1729 (May 1998).

Peter Kleban and Robert M. Ziff, "Exact results at the two-dimensional percolation point," Physical Review B – Condensed Matter (Rapid Communications) 57 (14): R8075-R8078 (1 April 1998).

Christian D. Lorenz and Robert M. Ziff, "Precise determination of the bond percolation thresholds and finite-size scaling corrections for the sc, fcc and bcc lattices," Physical Review E 57 (1): 230-236 (January 1998).