November 17, 2004
Thirteen scholars named Terman Fellows for 2004-05
By Mark Shwartz
Thirteen faculty members have been named Frederick E. Terman Fellows for 2004-05. Most fellows will receive awards ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 annually for up to three years.
The Terman fellowship program was established in 1994 with a gift from William R. Hewlett and David Packard. Awards are given to promising young scientists and engineers in the schools of Engineering, Medicine, Earth Sciences, and Humanities and Sciences. To date, 85 fellows have been chosen across the university.
Here is a list of this year's recipients and their research interests:
Zhenan Bao, an associate professor of chemical engineering, joined the faculty in 2004 after eight years in the Materials Research Department at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies. Bao received a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1995. One of her major contributions has been the development of high-performance organic semiconductors for large area flexible circuits and displays. Her current research interests include the study of self-assembly at different length scales using building blocks such as organic molecules and nano-objects. Bao has received several honors, including the American Chemical Society Team Innovation Award and R&D magazine's 100 Award in 2001.
Wei Cai, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, joined the faculty this year after working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Cai earned a bachelor's degree in optoelectronic engineering at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China in 1995 and a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001. His research involves the study of materials strength and the design of computational tools for micro- and nanoscale technology. He is recognized for contributions in dislocation mechanics, elasticity, statistical mechanics and computer simulation.
Ramesh Johari, an assistant professor of management science and engineering, joined the faculty this year after receiving a doctorate from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. The focus of his research is on the design and control of large-scale networks, particularly data networks and the electric power grid. He also is interested in game-theoretic models of network formation and of resource allocation in networks.
Scott Klemmer, an assistant professor of computer science, joined the faculty this fall. He received a dual bachelor's degree in art-semiotics and computer science at Brown University and master's and doctoral degrees in computer science from the University of California-Berkeley. His research addresses tangible user interfaces and user interface software tools. Several of his research systems have had commercial applications, including the SUEDE speech design tool, the Designers' Outpost system for web design and the handheld Books with Voices system.
Tim Roughgarden, an assistant professor of computer science, joined the faculty this year after earning a doctorate in computer science at Cornell University in 2002. The focus of his research is on the algorithmic analysis of interactions between self-interested agents, an emerging subfield that combines computer science theory with game theory and microeconomics to understand the principles underlying the Internet.
Matthew West, an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics, joined the faculty this year after earning a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology in 2003. His research uses geometric mechanics to develop novel numerical methods for computational mechanics, including fluid/structure interaction and contact/impact dynamics. West has developed scalable algorithms for collisions, such as those that occur during wrinkling and crumpling of inflatable structures. This work has direct application to the design of space systems, including inflatable antennae, solar sails and solar panels.
Christopher Francis, an assistant professor of geological and environmental sciences, joined the faculty in 2003. He earned a bachelor's degree in biology at UC-Santa Cruz in 1994 and a doctorate in marine microbiology from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2000. He held postdoctoral fellowships in the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University from 2001 to 2003. His area of expertise is molecular geomicrobiology, which, at the intersection of geology and biology, examines the role of and mechanisms underlying microbially mediated geochemical processes in aquatic and terrestrial environments.
William Burkholder, an assistant professor of biological sciences, joined the faculty in 2002. He received a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from Columbia University in 1997 and was a postdoctoral fellow at MIT from 1997 to 2002. Burkholder is a microbiologist whose research seeks to understand how, on a mechanistic level, bacteria are able to maintain genomic integrity by coordinating cell cycle events. While some things are known about how cells sense DNA damage, very little is known about how cells monitor the progress of DNA replication or the status of the replication machinery. Burkholder's lab has made progress toward understanding how bacteria perceive replication stress by studying the bacterium Bacillus subtilis.
Mary Beth Mudgett, an assistant professor of biological sciences, joined the faculty in 2002. Mudgett received her doctorate in biochemistry at UCLA studying protein repair mechanisms that prevent the accumulation of damaged proteins in seeds and stressed seedlings. As a postdoctoral scholar at UC-Berkeley, she studied how bacteria inject proteins into plant cells. Her lab is continuing this work, using biochemical and genetic approaches to elucidate how bacterial pathogens manipulate plant cells resulting in disease.
Jonathan Taylor, an assistant professor of statistics, joined the faculty in 2001. He earned a doctorate in statistics in 2001 from McGill University in Montreal. Using geometric methods, Taylor has derived results about the behavior of smooth Gaussian processes and their connection to classical areas of differential and integral geometry, notably the volume of tubes. These results have practical applications to statistical analysis, mixture models and mapping the brain in medical imaging problems.
Dmitry Yandulov, an assistant professor of chemistry, joined the faculty in July following a postdoctoral appointment at MIT from 2000 to 2004. He received a master's degree from the Higher Chemical College of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow in 1998 and a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from Indiana University in 2000. Focusing primarily on synthetic and mechanistic inorganic and organometallic chemistry, and guided by quantum chemical methods, Yandulov's research group will strive to systematically advance catalytic methods of synthesis as a technological solution to the challenge of sustainable development.
Stephen Baccus, an assistant professor of neurobiology, joined the faculty in June and earned a doctorate in neuroscience at the University of Miami in 1998. He studies how the nerves of the retina translate what we see into electrical impulses in the optic nerve. The goal of Baccus' research is to explain specific retinal visual processes such as adaptation to contrast, the encoding of brightness and the detection of moving objects.
Aaron Straight, an assistant professor of biochemistry, joined the faculty in April and earned his doctorate at UCSF in 1998. Straight's area of research focuses on the structure and biology of chromosomes and the mechanisms of chromosome segregation during cell division. His lab uses digital microscopy, biochemical techniques and genetics to study how chromosome-distribution systems function in cells.
The School of Medicine Office of Communication and Public Affairs contributed to this article.