John Ehlers

John Ehlers

John Ehlers is Chief Scientist and President of MESA Software, Inc. He is a technical analyst and Electrical Engineer, with a BSEE and MSEE from the University of Missouri, who completed his doctoral work at The George Washington University, specializing in Fields & Waves and Information Theory. John retired as a Senior Engineering Fellow from Raytheon, and has been a private trader since 1976. With his engineering training, he quickly gravitated towards technical analysis of the market. He originally questioned what was magic about a 14-day RSI, or any other period. Eventually, he concluded there was no unique answer and that one should adapt to current market conditions by using the measured cycle.

John is a pioneer in introducing the MESA cycles-measuring algorithm and the use of digital signal processing in technical analysis.  He discovered Maximum Entropy Spectrum Analysis (MESA) while attending an Information Theory seminar in 1978. He quickly reduced the theory to a computer program useful for trading; it was written originally for S-100 computers, and he sold the source code to a few brave traders who pioneered the use of PCs for technical trading. He converted the program for the APPLE II computer to take advantage of its graphics capability and data availability via modems. The program has evolved with the increased capacity of modern computers.

John has written extensively about quantitative algorithmic trading using advanced DSP (Digital Signal Processing) and has spoken internationally on the subject. His books include MESA and Trading Market Cycles, Rocket Science for Traders, and Cybernetic Analysis for Stocks and Futures.  His approach is unique in its holding that any technique must first work on theoretical waveforms before testing against real-world data is attempted.

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