New Faculty 2011/12

Each year, the College of Arts & Sciences recruits leading scholars and researchers from around the world to grow the ranks of its faculty. The faculty members listed below arrived new on campus for the 2011-12 academic year.

Anthropology

Assistant Professor Kimberly Arkin

Kimberly Arkin is a socio-cultural anthropologist with a PhD from the University of Chicago. She has done extensive fieldwork with North African Jewish youth in Paris. She has worked on the intersection of race and religion in contemporary Europe, focusing on how the inclusion of certain kinds of “multicultural” difference may help produce the self-racialization and exclusion of national minorities. In future work, she will examine the reconstruction of diasporic consciousness among European minorities who have returned to their putative “homes,” but hardly feel at home.

Assistant Professor Joanna Davidson

Joanna Davidson is a cultural anthropologist focusing on rural West Africans’ responses to environmental and economic change. She has conducted long-term ethnographic research in Guinea-Bissau among Diola rice cultivators. She is writing a book on the changing notion of “sacred rice” in this region, and she has published several articles on this and related topics. One important aspect of her work highlights the gaps between the goals of development programs and of local peoples, and helps explain the mixed success of new food technologies in Africa. She received her BA from Stanford University and her MA and PhD from Emory University.

Assistant Professor Kevin Langergraber

As a primate molecular ecologist, Kevin Langergraber uses molecular genetic techniques to investigate numerous features of primate social systems that are not easily observed in the field. At the local scale, he combines field- and laboratory-based analyses to address questions about the behavioral ecology of chimpanzees. At the broader scale, he uses samples collected from multiple chimpanzee communities to characterize patterns of chimpanzee genetic variation. This combination of field observation and comparative genetic analysis creates unique opportunities to answer evolutionary questions. He received his BA from the University of British Columbia and his PhD from the University of Michigan.

Archaeology

James Wiseman Professor of Archaeology Andrea Berlin

Andrea Berlin is a distinguished scholar of the archaeology of the Classical East from the Achaemenid Persian period through the Roman Empire (c. 500 BCE to 640 CE). She specializes in the study of ancient pottery and has developed ceramic typologies for several regions in the Near East, including northern Israel, central Cyprus, the region around Troy, and ancient Lycia in Turkey. She currently is co-director of the excavations at Tel Kedesh in Israel, a site with important Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman remains. Berlin has received numerous honors, including the Award For Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from the Archaeological Institute of America and a Samuel H. Kress fellowship to the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. Her research is contributing important new information about the social, economic, and historical interactions among the diverse peoples of the ancient Eastern Mediterranean. She earned her PhD in classical art and archaeology at the University of Michigan.

Astronomy

Assistant Professor Merav Opher

Merav Opher studies magnetic field processes in space physics and astrophysics, particularly how magnetic field affect the interstellar medium, disks around young stars, solar, stellar winds, jets and the early universe. She does this by using sophisticated numerical modeling as experiments in conjunction with new theoretical approaches and observational data. Opher also is interested in developing new computational models (such as coupling Kinetic-MHD models; PIC Codes-MHD; new AMR techniques, etc). She has a BS in physics and a PhD in physics and astronomy from the University of Sao Paulo.

Biology

Assistant Professor Ian Davison

Ian Davison is a neurobiologist who uses the mammalian olfactory cortex to explore fundamental questions about how the brain processes sensory information, associates it with past experience, and produces appropriate behavioral responses. His past research on frogs and mice has involved technologically challenging studies of neurons within functioning neural networks. In recent work on mice, Davison used innovative combinations of optical, optogenetic and electrophysiological techniques to show that different odors stimulate highly specific sets of glomeruli in the olfactory bulb, and that these sets are in turn connected to specific cortical neurons that fire only when the corresponding sets of olfactory glomeruli are activated. His future work will apply these highly innovative methods to behavioral experiments involving learning and memory. Ian earned his PhD in biology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. He comes to BU from Duke University, where he completed his postdoctoral work.

Chemistry

Assistant Professor Xin Chen

Xin Chen’s research interests include organic electrets, vibrational sum frequency generation (SFG), nanoconfined water and membrane dynamics, and microbead hauling of biomembrane interactions. He looks forward to leading courses ranging from introductory chemistry to physical chemistry to quantum mechanics and molecular spectroscopy. Chen received his PhD at Stanford University with Professor John Brauman and completed postdoctoral studies at Harvard University in the lab of Professor George Whitesides.

Classical Studies

Assistant Professor James Uden

James Uden’s scholarly interests extend from Roman love elegy (ranging all the way from the classical period to obscure poets of late antiquity) to the satires of Juvenal, on whom he wrote his dissertation. Uden’s work demonstrates a superb understanding and sensitivity to literature, where he focuses on the intersection of the written word with cultural, political, and social phenomena. He already has published more than ten articles or book chapters in the top, peer-reviewed journals in his field, including The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Classical Quarterly, American Journal of Philology, and the Transactions of the American Philological Society. He also has been invited to contribute an article on late antiquity to the prestigious Blackwell Companion to Love Elegy. His current research involves the conversion of his dissertation on Juvenal into a book manuscript. Uden earned his PhD this spring (2011) at Columbia University.

Computer Science

Professor Ran Canetti

Ran Canetti is a leading expert in cryptographic protocols and computer security. Canetti served as an Associate Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Checkpoint Institute for Information Security at Tel Aviv University and played an important role in the development of algorithms and Internet standards for such tasks as key agreement and message authentication. His HMAC authentication algorithm (co-developed with Bellare and Krawczyk) is built into every modern operating system from mainframes to handhelds, and is used billions of times a day. On the theoretical side, his seminal work on protocol composition (which has been cited thousands of times) has improved our understanding of how secure components can be put together to produce a secure result. His current research agenda includes the problem of program obfuscation, which could be used for a host of applications including secure cloud computing and privacy-preserving data mining. Canetti received his PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science. Before joining the faculty of Tel-Aviv University, he was a researcher at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center and a visiting scientist at MIT. In addition to his faculty appointment in Computer Science, Canetti will also serve as the Associate Director for Research in the BU Center for Reliable Information Systems & Cyber Security (RISCS).

Earth Sciences

Professor J. Lawford Anderson

J. Lawford Anderson’s research lies in the origin of the Earth’s crust. Much of his work has focused on the growth of the western margin of the North American continent during the past 200 million years. He has supervised over two-dozen graduate students; all of his PhD students have gone on to tenured academic positions. Anderson is an environmentalist with long-term interest in educating students about Earth’s resources and environment. He has received over a dozen teaching awards, including the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1989 and the Professor of the Year Award from the Gamma Sigma Alpha National Honor Society in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2006. Anderson comes to the College of Arts & Sciences from the University of Southern California, where he taught and conducted research for more than 30 years. He received his BA from Trinity University and MS and PhD degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

Professor and University Provost Jean Morrison

Jean Morrison, Boston University provost and chief academic officer, is a metamorphic petrologist whose research explores the evolution of the Earth’s crust. Morrison describes herself as a stable isotope geochemist: “What we do is measure the stable isotopic composition in rocks and minerals. That tells us a great deal about their origin.” Morrison has served on several National Science Foundation panels, as an editor of the Journal of Metamorphic Geology, and as an associate editor of American Mineralogist and the Geological Society of America Bulletin. In 2000, she was named Sigma Chi Professor of the Year, and she received Sigma Gamma Epsilon’s Excellence in Teaching Award. She earned a BA from Colgate University, an MS from the University of Georgia, and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Morrison became Boston University provost in January 2011.

Economics

Assistant Professor Kehinde Ajayi

Kehinde Ajayi’s research interests are in the areas of economic development and the economics of education. Her current research examines whether school choice programs reduce educational inequality and evaluates the effect of school quality on student performance. Kehinde was a Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow and a Fulbright Fellow. She received her PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley and her BA in economics from Stanford University.

Assistant Professor Carola Frydman

Carola Frydman’s research interests are in economic history, corporate finance, economics of organizations, and labor economics. She has studied the long-run evolution of executive compensation, income inequality, and the labor market for managers. Her current project examines the history of corporate governance and corporate performance with a specific focus on the impact of financial markets and government regulation on the growth of big business in the early decades of the twentieth century. Frydman received her PhD in economics from Harvard University and is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Prior to joining Boston University, she was an Assistant Professor of Finance at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

English

Assistant Professor Joseph Rezek

Joseph Rezek just completed a Barra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published essays in Early American Literature and English Literary History, and is currently writing a book titled Tales from Elsewhere: The Aesthetics of Provinciality and the Book Trade in Ireland, Scotland, and the United States. Rezek’s scholarship focuses on the relationship between the transnational circulation of texts and English-language literature of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He shows that both rivalry with England and the ambition to succeed in London shaped Irish, Scottish, and American literature of the early nineteenth century. Rezek has a BA in English from Columbia University and a PhD in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Geography & Environment

Assistant Professor Edward Cunningham

As a Fulbright fellow, Edward Cunningham was a visiting scholar at Tsinghua University’s School of Public Policy and Management, where he studied China’s energy challenge. Fluent in Mandarin, he wrote a chapter for the first “Let’s Go” travel book for China and has worked in Beijing for The Economist. Cunningham majored in Chinese at Georgetown University, received a MA from Harvard and a PhD from MIT, both in East Asian Studies. He was a research fellow at the MIT Industrial Performance Center and at Harvard’s Asia Pacific Policy Program.

History

Assistant Professor Philip Haberkern (begins in 2011)

Czech religious leader Jan Hus was condemned as a heretic and burned at the stake in 1415, but his movement lived on. Phillip Haberkern’s research focuses on the creation of a Czech national church by Hus’s followers and ways in which commemorations of “St. Jan Hus” influenced both this church and Martin Luther’s movement a century later. He spent last year as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center of the Study of Religion at Princeton, where he worked on finishing his first book and beginning a new project comparing four European cities that underwent radical religious transformations in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Haberkern earned his MA in “Christianity and Culture” from Harvard Divinity School and PhD in History from the University of Virginia.

History of Art & Architecture

Assistant Professor Rebecca Martin

Becky Martin has published on classical Greek sculpture, painted Attic pottery and Hellenistic mosaics, and excavated at the site of Tel Dor in Northern Israel, where East and West intersect in the ancient Mediterranean. At ease both with the latest theoretical work in art history and with the latest developments in field work, and also knowledgeable about ancient literature, she is already the author of three articles, two in leading peer-reviewed journals, and she expects to submit a revised version of her dissertation for publication as a monograph within the next three years. She has extensive teaching experience, ranging from introductory survey courses to specialized courses in Greek, Islamic, Renaissance, and Modern art and architecture. She received her BA from Smith College and her MA and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.

History of Art & Architecture / American & New England Studies Program

Associate Professor Willliam D. Moore

Will Moore is a well-established scholar of American material culture. His published work includes the book Masonic Temples: Freemasonry, Ritual Architecture, and Masculine Archetypes (University of Tennessee Press). A second book is well underway with the working title Not-So-Simple Gifts: Shakers, Nationalism and Modernism, 1925-1965. Moore also co-edited Secret Societies in America: Foundational Studies of Fraternalism, which is scheduled to be published within the year. Moore’s scholarly articles have appeared in his field’s leading journals, including Winterthur Portfolio, CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship, and The Public Historian. Moore’s other scholarly interests include vernacular architecture, nineteenth-century spiritualism, the culture of surfing, and the contemporary reinvention of Roller Derby. He earned his AB from Harvard College and his PhD from Boston University’s American & New England Studies Program.

International Relations

Assistant Professor Michael Woldemariam

Michael Woldemariam is a specialist on African politics, international security, political violence and conflict, and post-conflict governance and institution building. His doctoral dissertation focused on African insurgencies in Ethiopia and Mozambique and sought to explain the dynamics of factionalism and fragmentation in rebel organizations, building on fieldwork in those two countries and in refugee communities in Europe and North America. He has had numerous fellowship awards, including serving as Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation fellow, an Africanist Doctoral Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and as an American Political Science Association Minority Fellow. He also has conducted field studies in Somaliland, South Africa, and India. Woldemariam earned his BA at Beloit College in political science and sociology and his PhD from the Department of Politics at Princeton University.

Assistant Professor Manjari Chatterjee Miller

Manjari Chatterjee Miller works on foreign policy and security issues in international relations, specializing in South and East Asia. She particularly focuses on the rising powers of India and China. Her first book, the manuscript of which is currently under review, examines the influence of the different experiences of colonialism in India and China on their contemporary foreign policy decisions. She is interested in ideational influences on foreign policy and conceptions of state security and currently is working on the concept of loyalty in military units. She also is researching conceptions of China’s grand strategy and the role that India plays in it and is surveying current Chinese “official” attitudes towards India. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the US Department of Education, the Fairbank Center and South Asia Initiative at Harvard University, and the United Nations Foundation. She has an MS in international politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a BA in political science from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi, India.

Mathematics & Statistics

Assistant Professor Henry Lam

Henry Lam’s research focus is in applied probability. He is interested in the mathematical modeling and analysis of stochastic systems that arise in queueing, insurance and finance, and operations management. The methodology he uses draws from both analytical and statistical viewpoints, such as asymptotic approximation and the construction of efficient Monte Carlo algorithms, as well as the interplay in between. He received a BS in actuarial science from the University of Hong Kong and MA and PhD degrees in statistics from Harvard University.

Assistant Professor Jared Weinstein

Jared Weinstein, who earned his AB in mathematics, magna cum laude, at Harvard University and his PhD in mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley, has held a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA and is currently a visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. His research is a blend of arithmetic geometry, representation theory, and algebraic number theory, with a special emphasis on the Langlands program.

Philosophy

Assistant Professor Russell Powell

Russell Powell specializes in the philosophy of biological and biomedical science, with a particular interest in the evolutionary dimensions of bioethics broadly construed. However, his academic interests are wide-ranging and highly interdisciplinary. Powell is an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellow on the Science and Religious Conflict Project at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, a James Martin Research Fellow for the Program on Ethics and the New Biosciences, and a member of the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, all at Oxford University. He has published in areas ranging from the philosophy of science to political and legal philosophy, in journals such as the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Journal of Philosophy, Journal of Political Philosophy, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Biology and Philosophy, and European Journal for the Philosophy of Science. Before commencing his graduate work in philosophy, Powell worked as an attorney in the New York office of the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP, where he practiced complex product liability litigation. Prior to his appointment at Oxford, he was a Greenwall Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University and (simultaneously) Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. Powell holds a BA in philosophy, summa cum laude, from Binghamton University, a JD with honors from NYU Law School, and an MS in evolutionary biology and PhD in philosophy from Duke University.

Political Science

Assistant Professor David Glick

David Glick’s research interests sit at the intersection of judicial politics, law and society, and public policy. He already has published “Conditional Strategic Retreat: The Court”s Concession in the 1934 Gold Clause Cases” in the highly ranked Journal of Politics, in which he developed and tested a theory of when the Supreme Court will defer to presidential policy preferences. Glick’s work draws on archival evidence, personal interviews, formal theory, statistical analysis and even laboratory experiments. Before coming to BU, he was a post-doctoral fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor at the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College. Glick earned his BA in astrophysics and political science from Williams College and his PhD in politics from Princeton University.

Psychology

Associate Professor Marc W. Howard

Marc Howard researches topics centered on episodic memory, the ability to remember specific events situated in a particular spatiotemporal context. This involves developing mathematical models of cognition and evaluating them against both behavioral and neurophysiological data, providing a bridge between cognition and systems-level neuroscience. Howard uses a combination of mathematical, computational and behavioral tools to evaluate his hypotheses. At present, his efforts are focused on developing and evaluating a unified mathematical framework to describe how the brain constructs the spatial and temporal context believed to underlie episodic memory. This model appears to have far-ranging implications, leading to research interests in statistical learning, semantic memory, time perception, and reward systems. Howard holds a BA in physics, magna cum laude, from Rutgers University and a PhD in neuroscience from Brandeis University.

Assistant Professor Amanda R. Tarullo

Amanda Tarullo’s research focuses on the effects of early experiences on the neural and behavioral development of infants and young children. In particular, she examines how early life stress shapes the developing brain as well as the neurodevelopmental mechanisms that link early life stress to child outcomes. Using electroencephalogram (EEG) measures, Tarullo identifies patterns of infant brain activity that predict socio-emotional and cognitive functioning in early childhood and studies both typically developing and at-risk populations in order to explore both normative and atypical neurodevelopmental processes. One aim of this research is to understand why some children who experience early life stress are resilient and fare quite well while others have enduring developmental problems. Tarullo has a BA in psychology, summa cum laude, from Yale University and MA and PhD degrees in developmental psychopathology from the University of Minnesota.

Romance Studies

Assistant Professor Luc Baronian

Luc Baronian’s research focuses on morphology and phonology, both from formal and historical perspectives. He also is interested in the cognitive principles that guide linguistic change, while at the same time acknowledging the importance of social factors. His recent formal linguistic research centers on paradigm gaps of defective verbs. He recently published an analysis of French defective verbs, where the gaps are explained by phonological conditions constraining the insertion of verbs in generative rules of conjugation. Baronian’s other interests include the dialectology of North American varieties of French and Creole, particularly from Québec and Louisiana. He has demonstrated in several publications that there exist pre-Acadian features in Louisiana French, some of which that may even trace their origins to Québec. Baronian received a BS in mathematics and a MA in linguistics from the Université de Montréal, and a PhD in linguistics from Stanford University.

Sociology

Assistant Professor Japonica Brown-Saracino

Japonica Brown-Saracino’s is an expert on urban and community sociology. She comes to BU from Loyola University Chicago, where she served as Assistant Professor of Sociology from 2007. Brown-Saracino earned her undergraduate degree from Smith College and her PhD from Northwestern University. She is the author of A Neighborhood That Never Changes: Gentrification, Social Preservation, and the Search for Authenticity. Last year as a Research Affiliate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center, she studied the development of lesbian communities in urban spaces. Brown-Saracino earned her PhD in sociology at Northwestern University.