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Vox of Dartmouth, the College's newspaper for faculty and staff, ceased publication in February 2010. For current Dartmouth news and events, see:

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In the Spotlight: New Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

With this first issue of the term, Vox continues its series introducing the newest members of the faculty of arts and sciences. "These scholars bring to campus an extraordinary dedication to teaching combined with deep expertise in their fields," says Carol Folt, dean of the faculty of arts and sciences and professor of biological sciences. "Their work is characterized by a commitment to collaboration and interdisciplinary inquiry. We welcome the exciting opportunities they bring to Dartmouth's learning environment, which owes its vitality to the strength of our faculty and the fresh perspectives its newest members bring to bear.”

To read previous articles in this series, see:

April 3, 2006 issue
May 29, 2006 issue
August 21, 2006 issue

Lisa Fleischer
Associate Professor of Computer Science

Lisa Fleischer
Lisa Fleischer (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Lisa Fleischer comes to Dartmouth with a distinguished teaching and research career. An assistant professor of industrial engineering and operations research at Columbia University from 1997 to 2000, she was an assistant and then an associate professor of operations research, mathematics, and computer science at Carnegie Mellon University from 2000 to 2004. She was also a research staff member at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center from 2003 to 2006.

Fleischer is a graduate of Harvard College and received both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. She was the recipient of an NSF International Fellow Postdoctoral Award in 1999 and also received an NSF Career Award from 2000 to 2004. In addition, she received the Fulkerson Prize from the Mathematical Programming Society and the Nicholson Prize for best student paper in operations research from INFORMS.

Fleischer's research focuses on algorithm design and analysis. She studies algorithms for problems in network routing and design, economics and game theory, combinatorial optimization, and linear and integer programming. She is a contributor to several pending patent applications, and her articles have appeared in numerous scholarly journals. Fleischer is the co-principal investigator, with Richard Cole of New York University, on "Information, Prices, Markets, and Local Algorithms," supported by the NSF. Current work on this project includes design of a distributed process of determining prices in a market setting with a proof that it converges to equilibrium in polynomial time and incentive compatible mechanism design for scheduling problems. Previous research programs supported by the NSF and associated with her International Research Fellow and Career awards have included "Techniques in Approximation Algorithms and Polyhedral Combinatorics for Problems in Network Design and Routing" and "Efficient Algorithms for Problems in Combinatorial Optimization."

She has been the plenary speaker at conferences and symposia across the country and around the world, has participated in or led international seminars on computer science, engineering, and mathematics, and is a frequent invited speaker at conferences dealing with approximation algorithms and combinatorial optimization.

Fleischer is an associate editor of Mathematics of Operations Research and Operations Research, and served in that role until 2005 for Operations Research Letters.

Until recently, she was a council member of the Mathematical Programming Society and the network optimization vice chair for INFORMS.

Daryl G. Press
Associate Professor of Government

Daryl G. Press
Daryl G. Press (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

An authority on conflict and its effects on world politics, Daryl Press is the author of Calculating Credibility: How Leaders Assess Military Threats (2005). A graduate of the University of Chicago, he received his Ph.D. from MIT in political science and has won numerous awards and fellowships. He received John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Summer Research Grants in 1997 and 1998, and fellowships in 1997 and 1998 from the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard and from the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. He also conducted research at the U.S. Army War College in 2000, received two research grants from Dartmouth's Rockefeller Center in 2002 and 2004, and was named an Irving Fellow at Phillips Exeter Academy in 2004.
Press is returning to Dartmouth from the University of Pennsylvania, where he held the post of associate professor of political science in the 2005-2006 academic year.

With research interests that include decision-making during international crises, the economic effects of war, and the effect of changing technology on the future conduct of warfare, Press brings his expertise directly into the classroom where he is teaching courses on U.S. foreign policy, the role of nuclear weapons in the 21st century, and the future of warfare, among other subjects.

His expertise on foreign policy and military affairs is recognized internationally and he gives frequent public speeches and provides consultation to the U.S. government. Press is currently working on two research projects. In one, with coauthor Eugene Gholz, "Economic Globalization and the Effects of War on Neutrals," he examines how wars affect the economies of countries that remain out of the conflicts. In the other, "The End of Mutual Assured Destruction: Nuclear Weapons and U.S. Primacy," he and coauthor Keir Lieber study the changing nuclear balance of power and America's pursuit of nuclear primacy. Press and Lieber raise questions concerning the global impact of those changes and the wisdom of U.S. nuclear policy. Their research has triggered debate and commentary from the most senior political and military officials in Russia and the United States, and is the topic of an upcoming conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Press has published numerous articles in scholarly journals, and writes about U.S. foreign policy in the popular press. He has published in the journals Foreign Affairs and Regulation, has written about urban warfare in the Marine Corps Gazette, and has published opinion articles on the war in Iraq in the New York Times. Press consults for the U.S. government on U.S. foreign policy and military strategy toward the Persian Gulf and East Asia, and he is a frequent speaker at professional and scholarly societies and at universities nationwide.

A research affiliate in the Security Studies Program at MIT and a research associate at Harvard’s Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, Press is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Studies Association, and the American Political Science Association.

Eugene Santos Jr.
Professor of Engineering, Thayer School of Engineering

Eugene Santos Jr.
Eugene Santos, Jr. (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Eugene Santos Jr., received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Brown University. He also holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics and computer science. Prior to joining the Dartmouth faculty, he was a faculty member in the college of engineering at the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where he also served as the associate and interim director of the university's Taylor L. Booth Engineering Center for Advanced Technologies, an interdisciplinary center supporting computer and communications research and education, and was the director of the Intelligent Distributed Information Systems Laboratory. Earlier, he held faculty positions at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson AFB.

Santos is a leading expert in modern statistical and probabilistic methods with applications to intelligent systems, uncertain reasoning, and decision science. He is a leader in the growing community of artificial intelligence researchers who are advancing techniques for constructing models and software systems that can effectively and efficiently reason in the presence of noise and uncertainty. Most recently, he has pioneered new research on user and adversarial behavioral modeling. Outside of academia, he is a leader, adviser, and active participant in defense-related working groups on decision science and information technology.
The recipient of numerous academic honors and awards, Santos most recently received the Outstanding Contribution Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society. He also received a best paper award at the 13th International Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society (FLAIRS) Conference, was twice nominated for best paper award (top 6 of 400) at the 18th and 19th Interservice/Industry Training Systems and Education Conference, respectively, and received an award for outstanding research from Sigma Xi.

He is or has been the principal investigator on numerous federal grants spanning a broad range of research programs, including many supported by the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation, as well as various U.S. intelligence agencies. His current programs involve examinations of fused intent systems, emergent adversarial modeling, the impacts of culture and society on behavior and decision-making, intelligent information retrieval, and computational insight.

He has chaired or served on numerous major conferences and professional society meetings and his scholarly articles have appeared in books and journals around the world. He is the Program Chair for the 2007 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics to be held in Montreal, Canada. Santos is also currently an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Part B, and the International Journal of Image and Graphics. He has also served as guest editor for PRESENCE.

Elizabeth Cascio
Assistant Professor of Economics  

Elizabeth Cascio (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

An empirical labor and public economist, Elizabeth Cascio comes to Dartmouth after three years of teaching undergraduate and graduate economics at the University of California, Davis. A graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, Cascio received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. At Franklin and Marshall her work was recognized with the Minnie Zeid Memorial Prize in Economics, and, while at the University of California, Berkeley, she received an Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award and a Spencer Dissertation Fellowship for Research on Education.

Cascio's research focuses on the role of education in the development of skill during childhood and adolescence. One of her primary interests is in how state and federal aid programs affect the behavior and performance of local public schools. Her dissertation investigated how the establishment of state grants for school districts offering kindergartens affected the provision of programs and children's participation in early education and subsequent academic performance. She has recently extended this research to examine whether state-subsidized early education affects the eventual educational attainment, earnings, and employment rates of participants, contributing to an active policy debate on preschool finance. In another recent project, funded by the National Science Foundation and the Spencer Foundation, she is studying how the introduction of the largest federal education program, Title I, affected state and local revenue-raising efforts, instructional expenditures, school racial integration, and student outcomes. She is also interested in understanding the relative importance of family investments, time spent in school, and biological maturation in child development. One of her articles in this area was recently published in The Journal of Human Resources.

Cascio has spoken at seminars and conferences throughout the United States and is an active member of the American Economic Association and the Society of Labor Economists. She is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in its programs on children and development of the American economy and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany.

Sienna Craig
Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Sienna Craig
Sienna Craig (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Sienna Craig first traveled to Nepal and the greater Himalayas as an undergraduate, and then on a Fulbright Fellowship; her career has been shaped by that experience. She is a medical and cultural anthropologist whose research and teaching focuses on non-Western medical systems, social studies of science, international development studies, and global health, among other topics. A graduate of Brown University, she received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. Since 1993 she has traveled and worked in Nepal, India, and ethnically Tibetan areas of China. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Nepal and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Her research has focused specifically on Tibetan medicine, and, more generally, on the intersections of biomedicine and non-biomedical scientific knowledge systems, as well as on the professionalization of traditional doctors and commoditization of their healing therapies and practices in global context. She has also participated in a multidisciplinary clinical research project focused on women's health, which was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Craig has authored numerous academic articles that have been published in edited volumes and journals such as Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Health Care for Women International, The European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, and Studies in Nepali History and Society. She is also the author of A Sacred Geography: Sonnets of Tibetan and Himalayan Landscape, and Clear Sky, Red Earth: A Himalayan Story. Her ethnographic memoir, Horses Like Lightning: A Passage Through Mustang, is forthcoming from Wisdom Publications.

Craig has received numerous grants and fellowships in support of her work from institutions including the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the Social Science Research Council/Andrew Mellon Foundation. She has provided consulting expertise to a broad range of health, anthropology, and international development organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Winrock International, the World Wildlife Fund, and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development. Craig is cofounder of DROKPA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting grassroots initiatives and social entrepreneurship in the Himalayas and Tibet. She is a member of the American Anthropological Association, the Society for the Social Study of Science, and an advisor for the Himalayan Amchi Association.

Aden Evens
Assistant Professor of English

Aden Evens
Aden Evens (Photo courtesy of Sally Ackerman)

Aden Evens brings a wide-ranging approach to his research, teaching, and performance in the field of new media studies. His scholarship on the evolving forms of new media and digital technologies is informed by research in philosophy, mathematics, music, computing, and literature. He holds an A.B. from Harvard University and pursued graduate work at McGill University, where he obtained both his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees.

Dissertation research on ethics in the works of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze represents the single greatest influence on Evens's ongoing scholarly production, which follows Deleuze's eclectic and multidisciplinary model. This postmodern theory not only points toward the breadth of subject matters that Evens takes on, but focuses the critical questions that he brings to those subjects, primarily questions about the ways in which technologies generate and alter aesthetic and ethical experience. The principal example of this research is his first book, Sound Ideas: Music, Machines, and Experience (University of Minnesota Press, 2005), which considers the ways in which audio technologies, especially digital audio technologies, shape our interactions with sound and music, as performers, composers, critics, analysts, consumers, and listeners.

Prior to joining the Dartmouth faculty, Evens held teaching positions at The New School in the Department of Cultural Studies; at SUNY-Albany in the Department of English; at Harvard University as a preceptor in expository writing; and at MIT as an assistant professor of technical communication in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies. He received a Phineas Sprague Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in Mathematics and the Sciences from Harvard, both the McGill and the Manulife Fellowships from McGill University, and a Pembroke Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brown University. His initial teaching assignment at Dartmouth includes a class in new media studies, and he is also organizing a symposium at the Leslie Center on new media, to be held this October.

His articles are widely published in scholarly journals, both print and digital. Recent works include “Senseless Violence,” published in Synoptique (2006) and “Object-Oriented Ontology,” in Angelaki (2006). Evens is a frequent speaker at conferences and symposia in the United States and Canada, and has been a guest lecturer at several art museums, including the Baltimore Museum of Art and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston). He teaches in the areas of the philosophy and culture of technology; aural culture and music, with a specialization in 20th-century experimental and improvisational works; ethics and aesthetics; literature and composition; and studio production and sound design. In addition to his book and articles, Evens has also released two music recordings (CD/LP) on the Constellation label based in Montreal, under the project title, re:.

Matissa Hollister
Assistant Professor in Sociology

Matissa Hollister
Matissa Hollister (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Matissa Hollister studies poverty, social stratification, the labor market, and organizations. She is a graduate of Haverford College, received a Master of City Planning degree from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy from Harvard University. Her current research focuses on the "New Economy," how recent trends such as globalization, the decline of manufacturing, and the spread of technology have affected labor market opportunities. Her dissertation, "Careers in a Changing Economy: Occupations and Intergenerational Mobility Among Two Cohorts of the National Longitudinal Surveys," examines how these economic changes have affected the interplay between socioeconomic background and career trajectories. Hollister is also the author of "Does Firm Size Matter Anymore? The New Economy and the Causes of the Firm Size Wage Effect," which was published in the American Sociological Review.

Hollister brings her expertise in these areas to the classroom, where she is teaching courses on the sociology of work; the quantitative analysis of social data; food and society; and poverty, the new economy, and employment policy. Before coming to Dartmouth she held teaching posts at Harvard as a teaching fellow and, later, as an instructor. She has also taught at the Community College of Vermont.

Hollister earned several distinctions at Harvard, including the Dean's Award for Excellence in Student Teaching and the Taubman Center Urban Award for Papers on the Implementation and Management of Programs to Serve the Poor. This past year she was a Rockefeller Postdoctoral Fellow at Dartmouth and she spent the summer in California at the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

Reza Olfati-Saber
Assistant Professor of Engineering, Thayer School of Engineering

Reza Olfati-Saber
Reza Olfati-Saber (Photo courtesy of Reza Olfati-Saber)

Reza Olfati-Saber received both his S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, and his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. Prior to joining the Dartmouth faculty, he was a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology in control and dynamical systems, as well as a visiting scientist at the mechanical and aerospace engineering department at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Olfati-Saber is currently working on sensor networks, swarms, multiagent systems, complex networks, self-organizing autonomy, consensus theory, information fusion, and evolution of behavior and culture in social networks-an interdisciplinary research area spanning networks, computer science, physics, and systems and control theory. His articles have been widely published in the IEEE Transactions series, and he has presented papers at conferences and workshops in the United States and overseas.

The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Olfati-Saber was ranked second in the nationwide Mathematics Olympics examination among 5,000 outstanding students in Iran and is an elected member of the Sigma Xi scientific society. He is sought-after as a reviewer of scholarly articles for a broad range of journals in his fields, including Automatica, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Physics Letters A, and SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization, among others.

Olfati-Saber is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

James Henry Scott
Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences

James Henry Scott
James Henry Scott (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

James Henry Scott's research investigates the phenomena that connect biology and geochemical processes. He believes that there is a synergism between microbial life and the planet that can be observed and measured, and utilizes a range of approaches to examine how the Earth's smallest inhabitants can affect it on a geochemical scale. The approaches used can range from detecting minute isotopic changes associated with biology to more traditional microbiological and molecular approaches. Conversely, he is intrigued by how the geochemistry of the planet can lead to adaptations and ultimately evolutionary changes in microbial communities. His research interests range from eutectic geobiochemistry—testing the ability of microbes to adapt and survive in high-pressure eutectic ices—to investigation of ancient environments and how ancient metabolic pathways were shaped by the earth's prebiotic chemistry.

Scott received both his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and he has studied at the National Institutes of Health and at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.

From 1997 to 1999 he conducted research at the NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory and, in 1999, became a Postdoctoral NSF Associate at the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Geophysical Laboratory, where he held the post of associate staff scientist before coming to Dartmouth. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a NASA Astrobiology Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Carnegie Institution Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a membership on the National Academy of Science's NRC-Space Studies Board Task Group on "The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems and the Committee on the Origin and Evolution of Life." He is a collaborator and coinvestigator for the Mars Science Laboratory, and the equipment designed by his team will conduct measurements of that planet’s surface to evaluate the potential for life on Mars during a mission scheduled to be launched in 2009.

He is the author of numerous articles that have appeared in such journals as Science, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Nature Biotechnology, and the Journal of Bacteriology, and he is a frequent speaker at seminars sponsored by a range of institutions and organizations focused on the study of life in extreme environments.

Petia Vlahovska
Assistant Professor of Engineering, Thayer School of Engineering

Petia Vlahovska
Petia Vlahovska (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Petia Vlahovska is interested in understanding how the microstructure of complex fluids determines their behaviors, in particular their flow properties. Blood, paints, shampoo, and foods such as mayonnaise and ice cream are a few examples of complex fluids, which are dispersions of micron-sized particles or drops. The fundamental importance and broad practical applications of these substances make their study both significant and highly interdisciplinary, involving engineering, physics, chemistry, and applied mathematics.

Vlahovska comes to Dartmouth from Brown University where she was a visiting assistant professor in the Division of Engineering. She holds two M.Sc. degrees, both from the University of Sofia in Bulgaria, and she received her Ph.D. from Yale University. Fluent in four languages, she has made presentations at seminars and professional gatherings across the United States and around the world.

Vlahovska's articles have been published in scholarly journals and she has held two fellowships, one at the Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Germany, where she worked in the Membrane Biophysics group, and another at Cambridge University in England, where she received the David Crighton fellowship to facilitate her work with the Biological Mechanics Group at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. Her teaching and her research have consistently been recognized with awards, including the Department of Chemistry scholarship for outstanding student at the University of Sofia, the Evrika Foundation scholarship for excellence in natural sciences, and the Prize Teaching Fellowship from Yale University, for outstanding performance and promise as a teacher.

Vlahovska's current research focuses on the rheology of surfactant-laden emulsions, the dynamics of artificial cells in flow, and the flow of suspensions of swimming microorganisms.

Vlahovska is a member of the American Physical Society (APS) and was session chair for American Chemical Society (ACS) symposia in 2004 and 2005.

Afra Zomorodian
Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Afra Zomorodia
Afra Zamorodian (Photo courtesy of Afra Zomorodian)

Afra Zomorodian's research focus is within the emerging area of computational topology. Topology is the area of mathematics concerned with how a particular space is connected. The space could be real, such as the surface of donut, or abstract, such as the conformation space of a protein: a high-dimensional space that contains all possible positions of the atoms of a protein as it folds into its native state. Topology gives stable measures for capturing global qualitative features of these spaces, such as whether a shape has a tunnel, like a donut, or encloses empty space, like a soccer ball. Computational topology brings the theory of algebraic topology into computer science for solving real-world problems.

Zomorodian's work may be divided into theory and practice. On the theory side, he has worked extensively on persistent homology, a concept he introduced in his dissertation. This theory allows for the recovery of the topology of a shape from a set of noisy samples. On the practice side, he has implemented all his algorithms and incorporated some of them into free algorithm libraries and free software, such as the Computational Geometry Algorithms Library (CGAL) and PLEX, a library of Matlab routines for computation using simplicial complexes. He has also applied his research to solving problems in diverse fields. Recent examples include analyzing massive molecular dynamics simulations of phospholipid bilayer fusion (biophysics), understanding the local structure of natural images (image processing), and identifying colon polyps using discrete differential geometry (radiology).

Zomorodian received his B.S. from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, both in computer science. He was then a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford and a researcher at the Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik (MPII) in Saarbrücken, Germany. During the fall quarter, he is a research professor at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley, where he is a resident in the Computational Applications of Algebraic Topology program. Zomorodian has taught extensively in the past, received a teaching award at Illinois, organized courses at Stanford and MPII, and published a monograph titled Topology for Computing through Cambridge University Press. His work is currently supported by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) through a grant in the Topological Data Analysis (TDA) and NeoVision  programs.


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Last Updated: 12/17/08