Ari Trachtenberg – Awarded Full Professorship

BU promoted 17 faculty members, spanning a wide range of disciplines and expertise, to full professorships in 2013. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky
BU promoted 17 faculty members, spanning a wide range of disciplines and expertise, to full professorships in 2013. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Full Professorships Awarded to 17 Faculty- Recipients represent several schools, fields of study

Tom Vellner can be reached at; follow him on Twitter @tomgvellner.

From mapping marketing strategies to mapping the brain, the 17 BU faculty members who have just been promoted to full professor cover a wide and compelling range of research interests.

Among them is David Somers, a College of Arts & Sciences associate professor of psychology, who will become a full professor effective September 1. Somers (GRS’93) specializes in the investigation of mechanisms related to cognition and visual perception. The timing of his promotion couldn’t be better. President Obama announced during his February State of the Union address plans for a new scientific initiative that would map human brain cell activity on the scale the Human Genome Project of the 1990s.

“My lab has previously identified two new human brain structures and is currently engaged in identifying and characterizing several brain networks that support attention and cognitive control,” says Somers. “We are poised to contribute significantly to this national goal.”

The faculty promoted this year are from CAS, the College of Engineering, and the School of Management.

Shuba Srinivasan, a newly minted SMG professor of marketing, views her promotion as an acknowledgment of years of hard work.

“This promotion represents a major milestone recognizing years of sustained effort on several fronts,” says Srinivasan. In addition to designing  effective courses in her area of expertise—marketing analytics—Srinivasan has bridged the gap between marketing theory and practice in her research. “This promotion affirms all of this,” she says.

Ari Trachtenberg, who specializes in enhancing cyber security, says his promotion to full professor of electrical and computer engineering at ENG is an incentive to continue to do groundbreaking research.

“It represents an important motivation to continue spending sleepless nights developing my research,” says Trachtenberg, who received a 2002 National Science Foundation CAREER Award and is a Kern Faculty Fellow. “Failing that, I’m hoping students will at least take my jokes more seriously.”

Faculty are selected for promotion based on the quality of the research and scholarship conducted in their classrooms and laboratories.

“Outstanding faculty are at the heart of what defines a successful research institution,” says Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer. “The 17 exceptional scholars we recognize are as talented as they are diverse, each demonstrating the passion for teaching and willingness to reach across disciplines that enable Boston University each day to create new knowledge, generate new ideas, and make important new practical discoveries. From the humanities and sciences to engineering and business, all have emerged as leaders committed to excellence in their individual fields. We are excited to announce their promotion to full professor and for the great work each has in store.”

In addition to Somers, Srinivasan, and Trachtenberg, the following are becoming full professors:

Robert Carey, CAS professor of physics

A recent winner of a National Science Foundation grant and a Neu Family Award for excellence in teaching, Carey has authored dozens of widely cited journal articles and papers on particle physics.

Jodi Cranston, CAS professor of history of art and architecture

Cranston is an expert on Italian Renaissance art and architecture, specifically Venetian Renaissance art, is the author of two books, and has spoken at numerous international academic conferences. She is currently at work on a new book, The Green Worlds of Renaissance Venice, and a digital mapping project that traces the collection of Titian’s paintings in 16th- and 17th-century Venice.

James Johnson, CAS professor of history:

A cultural historian focusing on modern and early modern European history, Johnson is the award-winning author of books about 18th- and 19th-century French and Venetian history. Recipient of a 1996 Metcalf Prize for Excellence in Teaching, he is a former CAS assistant dean and former director of the Core Curriculum.

Jonathan Klawans, CAS professor of religion

A leading scholar on ancient Judaism, Klawans has taught courses on subjects ranging from the Hebrew Bible to the Dead Sea Scrolls to ancient Jewish history. His most recent book is Josephus and the Theologies of Ancient Judaism.

Kimberly McCall, CAS professor of biology

McCall is the biology department director of graduate studies and a past recipient of a Clare Boothe Luce Professorship. Her laboratory focuses on research into cell biology, particularly the role of cell death in development and disease. Her research has produced important new scholarship about disease treatment and prevention.

Meers Oppenheim, CAS professor of astronomy

Specializing in space plasma physics using supercomputer simulations, theory, and data, Oppenheim’s research has recently focused on the physics of meteors. Astronomy department director of graduate studies, he has received multiple National Science Foundation and NASA grants.

M. Daniele Paserman, CAS professor of economics

Paserman, whose scholarly citations rank among the top 10 percent of economists worldwide, addresses critical economic issues in his research, ranging from Middle East policy and terrorism to electoral results and gender dynamics in European politics. He is a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Anita Patterson, CAS professor of English

Patterson’s areas of research include American literature, modernism, and black poetry of the Americas, focusing on transnational and intercultural dialogue. She has written two books on race and literature and is working on a book exploring the effect of Japanese culture on modernism.

Nathan Phillips, CAS professor of earth and environment

The author of dozens of widely cited journal articles and abstracts, Phillips researches plant physiological ecology—specifically how global environmental change may affect the processes by which plants and ecosystems regulate water loss and carbon gain. He is executive director of the Sustainable Neighborhood Lab at BU.

Kimberly Saudino, CAS professor of psychology

Director of the BU Twin Project and a recipient of numerous National Institutes of Health grants, Saudino’s research centers on the development of temperament in infants and children and the role genetic and environmental factors play in the development of temperament.

Jenny White, CAS professor of anthropology

White’s research is on social anthropology, focusing on contemporary Turkey. She is the author of four books on Turkey, including Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks, as well as three novels set in 19th century Istanbul. She is director of undergraduate studies in the department of anthropology and is a former president of the Turkish Studies Association.

Enrico Bellotti, ENG professor of electrical and computer engineering

A NSF CAREER Award recipient and corecipient of a $15 million Army Research Laboratory grant, Bellotti specializes in the design of energy-efficient photonics materials and has developed water purification systems, infrared detectors, and lighter energy-efficient batteries and devices for soldiers in combat.

Siddharth Ramachandran, ENG professor of electrical and computer engineering

A fellow of the Optical Society of America, Ramachandran holds 32 patents, has coedited a book, and written or cowritten more than 200 articles, papers, and lectures in the field of optics and applied physics.

Joyce Wong, ENG professor of biomedical engineering

Currently a Kern Faculty Fellow and a past Clare Boothe Luce Professor, Wong studies cell-biomaterial interactions, tissue engineering, and theranostics, researching the regeneration of tissue and the integration of drug delivery with acoustic imaging.