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Ten scholars named 2002 Terman Fellows

Ten scholars have been named the 2002-03 Frederick E. Terman Fellows. The awards, given to promising young faculty in the sciences and engineering, are made in the schools of Engineering, Medicine, Earth Sciences, and Humanities and Sciences. Each recipient receives a maximum of $100,000 annually for three years.

Terman fellowships were established in 1994 with a $25 million gift from William R. Hewlett and David Packard -- co-founders of Hewlett-Packard Co. This year's recipients bring the total number of fellows across the university to 62.

Here is a list of this year's recipients and their research interests:

School of Earth Sciences

Margot Gerritsen was appointed assistant professor of petroleum engineering in 2001. Her area of research is computational fluid dynamics, specifically examining three-dimensional flows in well bores and heterogeneous porous media that abound in petroleum engineering applications.

School of Humanities and Sciences

Elizabeth Hadly, assistant professor in biological sciences, uses a variety of approaches to analyze the responses of vertebrates to climate change. She addresses problems in organismal biology from evolutionary and ecological perspectives, using paleontology data as well as DNA analysis. The purpose of her research, in part, is to explore the implications of anthropogenic effects on biosystems. Thus, the time scales for this work are comparatively short -- tens to hundreds of years.

Michael Rexach, assistant professor of biological sciences, is an expert in molecular and cell biology. His research involves the study of the mechanism and machinery responsible for transporting small molecules into and out of the cell nucleus.

Vijay Pande, assistant professor of chemistry, conducts research at the intersection of chemistry, structural biology and computer science. He is developing new computational tools to make significant advances in the simulation of biological molecules, such as proteins, DNA and RNA. Pande has devised novel algorithms that allow considerably longer time scales (by a factor of 1,000 to 1 million) to construct biological simulations. With these new simulation methods, he is characterizing protein dynamics in ways that would be impossible experimentally with potential applications for studying Alzheimer's and other diseases.

Vladan Vuletic, assistant professor of physics, studies atomic and molecular optical physics. He works in the field of laser cooling, in which atoms are slowed down -- brought to very low temperatures -- by exchanging energy and entropy with optical fields.

School of Medicine

Thomas Clandinin, assistant professor of neurobiology, studies neuronal networks in the central nervous system. Neurons make remarkably complex and specific patterns of connections that often emerge during development and, in many cases, are determined by the genetic program of the animal. Clandinin's work seeks to uncover the little-known mechanisms by which genes determine how individual neurons choose among potential target cells to make the correct connections. Using a combination of genetic techniques and behavioral assays, Clandinin investigates the patterns of connections that form in the visual system of the fruit fly. He has identified a number of genes that appear to play similar roles in determining connection patterns in mammals and other vertebrates.

Miriam Goodman, assistant professor of molecular and cellular physiology, conducts research on sensation -- a process that relies on sensory cells that convert physical stimuli into electrical signals. Her work focuses on understanding the molecular and cellular basis of this process in cells that detect mechanical (touch) and thermal (temperature) stimuli. Goodman's research promises to delineate molecular events that, ultimately, give rise to sensation.

School of Engineering

Feryal Erhun, assistant professor of management science and engineering, joined the faculty this year after receiving her doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests include Internet-enabled supply chains; supply chain management and logistics; and just-in-time systems. Erhun has worked on design and operational issues in Kanban systems, and an implementation of a "total cost of ownership" perspective by coordinating decisions across functions of the distribution system at a grocery retailer. Currently, she focuses on the implications of sequential capacity procurement in stochastic and capacitated supply chains.

Ashish Goel, assistant professor of management science and engineering and, by courtesy, computer science, received his doctorate from Stanford in 1999 and will join the faculty in January. Goel's research focuses on theoretical computer science and its applications. Current interests span combinatorial optimization; algorithms for networking; approximation and randomized algorithms; algorithmic self-assembly; approximate fairness; and peer-to-peer systems. He received the 2002 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for research in algorithm aspects of computer networks.

Jelena Vuckovic, assistant professor of electrical engineering, joined the faculty this year after receiving her doctorate from Caltech. Her research interests include photonic crystals, photonic nanostructures, semiconductor cavity QED, nanofabrication and quantum information.


By Mark Shwartz

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