Fourteen Penn State faculty recognized with lifetime honor

November 26, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Fourteen Penn State faculty members in areas ranging from physics and engineering to entomology and plant science have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society. A lifetime honor bestowed upon members by their peers, a total of 443 individuals are being recognized for their extraordinary achievements in advancing science.

“At Penn State we believe in the power of brilliant minds creating new possibilities through exploration, collaboration and innovation,” said Nick Jones, executive vice president and provost. “I commend our 14 scholars receiving this high honor and thank them for their continued dedication to the University’s research enterprise.”

New fellows will each be recognized for their contributions on Feb. 15, 2020, during the organization’s annual meeting in Seattle, Washington. Those from Penn State are:

  • Réka Albert, distinguished professor of physics and biology — for distinguished contributions to the field of systems biology and network analysis, particularly for work on signaling networks, pathway dynamics and complex inter-dependent networks.
  • William Nielsen Brandt, Verne M. Willaman Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics and professor of physics — for distinguished contributions to knowledge of the high-energy Universe obtained through sensitive observations of accretion onto supermassive black holes.
  • Guohong Cao, distinguished professor of computer science and engineering — for distinguished contributions to the field of wireless networks and mobile computing, particularly for the design and analysis of wireless network protocols and mobile systems.
  • Vincent H. Crespi, distinguished professor of physics, materials science and engineering, and chemistry — for distinguished contributions to the theoretical understanding of nanoscale materials, including carbon nanotubes and artificial spin ice.
  • Nikolay Dokholyan, G. Thomas Passananti Professor and vice chair for research, Department of Pharmacology and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology — for distinguished contributions to the field of computational biology and biophysics, particularly for developing technologies that illuminate biological mechanisms using principles of physics.
  • Jenni L. Evans, professor of meteorology and atmospheric science and director, Institute for Computational and Data Sciences — for novel contributions to quantitative understanding of the life-cycle of Tropical Cyclones and associated weather extremes, and for outstanding leadership in atmospheric sciences.
  • Kurt Gibble, professor of physics — for distinguished contributions to the science and technology of atomic clocks and novel studies of ultra-cold atom-atom scattering.
  • Christina M. Grozinger, distinguished professor of entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research — for distinguished contributions in the field of entomology, particularly in integrative studies of bee health and behavior, and for advocacy for pollinator research, education and conservation.
  • Carsten Krebs, professor of chemistry and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology — for creative use of kinetic and spectroscopic method to understand redox metalloenzymes, and for teaching aspiring practitioners the discipline of bioinorganic chemistry.
  • Jonathan Lynch, distinguished professor of plant science — for distinguished contributions toward elucidating the basis of crop adaptation to abiotic stress, including drought, low phosphorus availability, low nitrogen availability, salinity, and manganese toxicity.
  • Asok Ray, distinguished professor of mechanical engineering and mathematics — for innovations in machine learning and real-time control of smart machines and autonomous systems, and for popularizing their usage in both defense and commercial applications.
  • Marcos Rigol, professor of physics — for distinguished contributions to the understanding of the quantum dynamics of equilibrium and non-equilibrium many-body states of matter.
  • David S. Weiss, professor of physics and associate head for research — for distinguished contributions to atomic physics, particularly for the experimental realization and study of one-dimensional gases, and for development of neutral atom quantum computing.
  • Jinchao Xu, Verne M. Willaman Professor of Mathematics and director of the Center for Computational Mathematics and Applications — for distinguished contributions in the field of computational mathematics, particularly for his development and analysis of numerical methods for partial differential equations and multigrid methods.

With $968 million in annual research expenditures, Penn State ranks among the top 25 U.S. research universities and is one of only two institutions in the nation accorded land-grant, sea-grant, sun-grant, and space-grant status. This year’s fellows represent the Eberly College of Science, the College of Engineering, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, the College of Agricultural Sciences, and the College of Medicine. Also represented are the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences, the Institutes for Energy and the Environment, the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, and the Materials Research Institute.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 26, 2019