University Promotes 25 Charles River Campus Faculty
Representing diverse fields, these individuals are “having demonstrable impact in their disciplines”
An internationally regarded computational number theorist, a leading voice in the field of high energy theory, and a sociocultural anthropologist who researches migration and citizenship issues among ethnic minorities in Turkey are among the faculty on Boston University’s Charles River Campus who have been promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure.
“Each year, these promotions and awards of tenure mark an especially proud moment for the BU community, as we’ve had the pleasure of watching these talented colleagues develop from promising junior faculty into teachers and scholars of national impact and recognition,” Jean Morrison, BU provost and chief academic officer, wrote in an email to faculty announcing the promotions. “In diverse fields across the University, these faculty members are having demonstrable impact in their disciplines and excelling as teachers in our classrooms and laboratories. We continue to see great things ahead for them and are pleased they have chosen BU as the institution at which to advance their careers.”
In addition, two faculty were promoted to the rank of non-tenure-track associate professor and one faculty member was promoted to the rank of full professor with tenure.
Faculty promoted to associate professor with tenure:
Jennifer Balakrishnan, College of Arts & Sciences associate professor of mathematics and statistics, is a computational number theorist, researching algorithmic number theory and arithmetic geometry. Supported by numerous grants from the Simons Foundation and the National Science Foundation (NSF), including a CAREER award, she is recognized among the world’s leading authorities on the quadratic Chabauty method and the application of p-adic techniques to Diophantine geometry. She is a past Sloan Research Fellow and has published one book, one book chapter, and 17 articles in top-tier mathematics journals, including Annals of Mathematics.
Andrew Liam Fitzpatrick, CAS associate professor of physics, researches applications of quantum field theory across many areas, including cosmology, astrophysics, materials, and the search for physics “beyond the standard model.” Recognized among the leading international voices in the field of high energy theory, he is a past Sloan Research Fellow, and his work is sponsored by major grants from the Simons Foundation and the US Department of Energy (DOE). He has published over 50 articles in prestigious physics journals, including the Journal of High Energy Physics.
Marco Gaboardi, CAS associate professor of computer science, is an expert in programming languages, focusing specifically on their overlap with algorithms and privacy. He is credited with foundational advances in programming languages, practical software projects, and new developments in the theory and practice of differential privacy and machine learning. He is a past recipient of the Google Faculty Research Award and the Caspar Bowden Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies. His work is funded by major grants from the US Census Bureau, where he is a lead principal investigator (PI), and the NSF, including a CAREER award. He has coauthored one book, Software Foundations, Volume 2: Programming Language Foundations, edited four book volumes, and published 60 refereed journal and conference papers.
Adam Guren, CAS associate professor of economics, is an applied macroeconomist whose research focuses on the housing market and its interaction with the larger economy, including home prices, the recent housing boom and bust, housing wealth effects, foreclosure policy, mortgage design, labor supply, and macroprudential policy. Recognized among the top researchers in his field, he is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and past recipient of American Economic Review’s Excellence in Refereeing Award. He has published extensively in top economics journals, including the Journal of Finance and the Review of Economic Studies.
Joseph Harris, CAS associate professor of sociology, conducts comparative historical research at the intersection of sociology, political science, and global health, working to help resolve problems relevant to global and transnational sociology, medical sociology, the sociology of development, and the sociology of human rights. He is cofounder of the American Sociological Association’s Global Health and Development Interest Group and is a past Fulbright Fellow and recipient of CAS’ Gitner Award for Distinguished Teaching. He has authored a book, Achieving Access: Professional Movements and the Politics of Health Universalism (Cornell University Press, 2017), as well as a book chapter, and published articles and essays in premier medical and academic journals, including The Lancet.
Sam Ling, CAS associate professor of psychological and brain sciences, is a cognitive neuroscientist and vision scientist, who uses functional magnetic resonance imaging, computational modeling, and other methods to examine the mechanisms by which attention influences visual perception. He is a past recipient of CAS’ Peter Paul Career Development Professorship and its Templeton Award for Excellence in Student Advising. His research is funded by major grants from the NSF and National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has published dozens of widely cited articles in leading scientific journals, including Nature Communications and Journal of Neurophysiology.
Philip Muirhead, CAS associate professor of astronomy, studies the properties and galactic demographics of low-mass stars in the Milky Way and the exoplanets that orbit them. He is a past Scialog Fellow through the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and his research has been continually supported by grants from the NSF and NASA, where he is a PI or co-PI on multiple projects exploring dwarf stars and their exoplanets. A frequent presenter at conferences and colloquia, he has published 12 conference proceedings and 66 refereed articles in top-tier field journals, including The Astronomical Journal. He has also received CAS’ Templeton Award for Excellence in Student Advising.
Neil Myler, CAS associate professor of linguistics, specializes in morphology—the study of the forms of words—and its interface with syntax and argument structure. His work covers the English and Romance languages, as well as endangered languages in South America and Africa. Considered among the top global scholars in his field, he has conducted extensive fieldwork on the Quechua and Southern Bantu languages and authored an acclaimed book, Building and Interpreting Possession Sentences (MIT Press, 2016), along with six book chapters and several articles in leading linguistics publications.
Maxwell Palmer, CAS associate professor of political science, studies American political institutions, Congress, redistricting and election law, and local politics. His current work focuses on the local politics of housing development, the revolving door between public office and private employment, and methods for analyzing redistricting plans. A frequently invited speaker, he has written extensively, coauthoring a highly regarded book on participatory politics—Neighborhood Defenders: Participatory Politics and America’s Housing Crisis (Cambridge University Press, 2019)—one book chapter, and numerous articles in top political science journals, including American Political Science Review. In 2020, he received the American Political Science Association’s Heinz Eulau Award for the best article published in Perspectives on Politics the previous year. Palmer is also a junior faculty fellow at BU’s Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering and is a co-PI of the Menino Survey of Mayors.
Ayşe Parla, CAS associate professor of anthropology, is a sociocultural anthropologist whose work focuses on issues of migration, citizenship, hope, and precarity among ethnic minorities in Turkey. A past fellow and visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study, she has authored an acclaimed book, Precarious Hope: Migration and the Limits of Belonging in Turkey (Stanford University Press, 2019), along with three book chapters, nine encyclopedia entries, and a dozen articles in top peer-reviewed journals, including History and Anthropology. Her current research looks at the post-genocide dispossession of Armenians in Turkey.
Spencer Piston, CAS associate professor of political science, examines American politics, with a focus on public policy, race, class, and criminal justice—in particular, political attitudes about disadvantaged groups in American society. His most recent work focuses on race and policing. He has written a widely praised book, Class Attitudes in America: Sympathy for the Poor, Resentment of the Rich, and Political Implications (Cambridge University Press, 2018), as well as three book chapters and 15 articles in leading political science journals, including The Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Political Psychology.
Benjamin Siegel, CAS associate professor of history, explores the role of South Asia as the center of global, economic, environmental, and political transformations, with special focus on Indian culture, history, and influence. He has published a book, Hungry Nation: Food, Famine, and the Making of Modern India (Cambridge University Press, 2018), along with three book chapters and numerous articles in leading US and Indian historical journals and media outlets. His current research explores the transnational history of America’s opioid crisis and is the subject of a forthcoming book, Markets of Pain: A Transnational History of the United States Opioid Crisis, to be published by Oxford University Press. His work has been supported through grants from the American Council of Learned Societies and the American Institution of Indian Studies, and he is a past recipient of CAS’ Frank and Lynne Wisneski Award for Excellence in Teaching and its Gitner Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Emily Whiting, CAS associate professor of computer science, uses her research in architectural geometry, computer-aided design, and 3D fabrication for numerous applications—from building masonry to manufacturing materials—to help bridge the gap between geometric modeling, structural engineering, and design. She is a past Innovation Career Development Professor and Sloan Research Fellow, and her research is funded by large grants from the US Department of Defense and the NSF. She has published 30 widely cited conference and journal articles, and last year won the best paper award at the International Conference on Culture and Computing.
Rosella Cappella Zielinski, CAS associate professor of political science, is a scholar of the political economy of security whose research and teaching explore the politics of paying for defense, international conflict, nuclear security, and the relationship between war and society. She is a founder and codirector of BU’s Project on the Political Economy of Security and is a non-resident fellow with the Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Creativity at Marine Corps University. Her book, How States Pay for Wars (Cornell University Press, 2016), won the American Political Science Association’s best book award in international history and politics, and she has additionally published five book chapters and seven articles in top foreign policy journals, including Foreign Affairs and Journal of Global Security Studies.
Lei Guo, College of Communication associate professor of emerging media studies, explores the development of media effects, computational social science methodologies, and emerging media and democracy in the United States and China. A founding member of the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences, she is a past recipient of the Google Research Award and Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly’s Outstanding Research Article Award, and was BU’s inaugural East Asia Studies Career Development Professor. Her current work examines the impact of international news coverage of COVID-19, and she is co-PI on a large-scale NSF grant developing tools for analyzing US news in over 100 languages. She has published eight book chapters and over 30 journal articles, and is the coeditor of The Power of Information Networks: New Directions for Agenda Setting (Routledge, 2015).
Manuel Egele, College of Engineering associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, specializes in systems security, with an emphasis on software security, web security, and security and privacy on mobile systems and online social networks. A recent recipient of ENG’s Early Career Research Excellence Award, he leads BU’s Secure Systems Lab. His research into malware and the protection of computing platforms is supported by multiple large grants from the NSF, the Office of Naval Research, and Sandia National Laboratories. He has published numerous articles in his field’s primary conferences and journals and is an editorial board member for the Association for Computing Machinery’s Transactions on Privacy and Security.
Francesco Orabona, ENG associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, bridges the mathematical foundations of learning theory and data science with applications to scientific, societal, and real-world engineering problems. His efforts have led to the development of autonomous online learning algorithms that require minimal human supervision—first-of-its-kind work that is now part of Microsoft’s machine learning tool kit. The past recipient of a Google Research Award, he is a Data Science Faculty Research Fellow at BU’s Hariri Institute and a founding faculty member of the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences. Last year, he served as senior area chair at the Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Conference on Artificial Intelligence. He has published five book chapters and more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles.
Sahar Sharifzadeh, ENG associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, uses first-principles electronic structure methods to understand and predict the electronic, magnetic, and structural properties of materials with the goal of designing resilient new materials for computational and semiconductor use. A recipient of the DOE’s Early Career Research Award, she is a member of the American Physical Society, the Materials Research Society, and the American Chemical Society, and was named a “Rising Star of Science” by Scientific American. Her research is funded by several major grants from the DOE, NIH, and NSF, including a CAREER award. She is a frequently invited presenter and has published over 30 articles in premier scientific and computing journals.
Joshua Shifrinson, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies associate professor of international relations, focuses on international security and diplomatic history, particularly the rise and fall of great powers and the origins of grand strategy. His current work examines American foreign policy in the 1990s and early 2000s to explain how great powers try to stop challengers from emerging. A Wilson China Fellow with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, he has written a book, Rising Titans, Falling Giants: How Great Powers Exploit Power Shifts (Cornell University Press, 2018), as well as seven book chapters and 12 peer-reviewed articles in top foreign policy publications, including the Journal of Strategic Studies and Foreign Affairs.
Estelle Yuan Sun, Questrom School of Business associate professor of accounting, conducts empirical research into financial accounting, using archival datasets to analyze issues of sustainability and corporate social responsibility, earnings management, investors’ use of financial information, and economic drivers of accounting conservatism. Recognized among the top accounting scholars in her cohort, she is a Dean’s Research Scholar and a past winner of Questrom’s Noe Research Award and Broderick Award for Excellence in Research. She has published 17 refereed articles in top-tier accounting journals, including Contemporary Accounting Research and Journal of Corporate Finance.
Vasileios Zikopoulos, College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College associate professor of human physiology, uses cutting-edge imaging and computational approaches to examine the structural organization, molecular features, and connections of brain circuits in humans or animal models and their disruption in disease—research with significant potential for better understanding attention, mood, and anxiety disorders. He is the director of BU’s Human Systems Neuroscience Laboratory, and his research is supported by several major grants from the NIH. A member of the editorial board at Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, he has published a book chapter and over 30 articles in leading health sciences journals, including Neuroscience and Brain and Language.
Thomas Byrne, School of Social Work associate professor of social welfare policy, focuses on housing and homelessness, specifically working to improve policies impacting marginalized, low-income, minority populations and veterans. His research is supported by major grants from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration, and he is an investigator with the VA Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Implementation Research. A frequent conference presenter and member of the Boston Mayor’s Advisory Committee to End Homelessness, he has published dozens of articles in respected health policy journals, including Health Affairs, American Journal of Public Health, and Housing Policy Debate.
Faculty promoted to non-tenure-track associate professor:
Lucy Kim, College of Fine Arts associate professor of painting, is a multidisciplinary artist specializing in sculptural painting and the exploratory use of innovative new materials. Her work—featured at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) and Museum of Fine Arts, among numerous international venues—examines modern approaches to and constructions of the body, including current experiments using melanin in prints. She holds an invitational art residency at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and is twice a past winner of the ICA’s James and Audrey Foster Prize. Her work has been reviewed by a host of major publications, including The New Yorker and The Boston Globe. She is an affiliated faculty member at BU’s Center for Antiracist Research.
Makarand Mody, School of Hospitality associate professor of hospitality marketing, examines marketing and consumer behavior within the hospitality and tourism industries, focusing specifically on the “sharing economy” and rise of industry leaders like Airbnb, as well as on the intersection of hospitality and healthcare. His research has garnered best paper awards from the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education and the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education. He has published two book chapters and 30 articles in premier hospitality journals, including International Journal of Hospitality Management and Tourism Management Perspectives.
Faculty promoted to full professor with tenure:
Rory Van Loo, School of Law professor of law, is an expert on the law of consumer markets and governance of businesses operating in the information economy sector, specifically focusing on the intersection between technology and regulation. He is a regular presenter at conferences and symposia and is regarded among the nation’s leading scholars bridging the fields of regulatory and institutional design and the conduct of private market actors. He has published 10 articles in leading law journals, including Columbia Law Review and Virginia Law Review, and is a past Peter Paul Career Development Professor at LAW and recipient of the school’s Dean’s Scholarship Award.