Tamara Broderick is a PhD candidate in statistics at the University of California, Berkeley and will start as an assistant professor in EECS at MIT in January 2015. She received an AB in Mathematics from Princeton University (2007), a Master of Advanced Study for completion of Part III of the Mathematical Tripos from the University of Cambridge (2008), an MPhil in Physics from the University of Cambridge (2009), and an MS in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley (2011). Her recent research has focused on developing and analyzing models for scalable, unsupervised learning using Bayesian nonparametrics. She has been awarded the Evelyn Fix Memorial Medal and Citation (for the PhD student on the Berkeley campus showing the greatest promise in statistical research), the Berkeley Fellowship, an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, a Marshall Scholarship, and the Phi Beta Kappa Prize (for the graduating Princeton senior with the highest academic average).
Serguei Saavedra will join the faculty in January 2016 as an assistant professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He received a PhD in engineering science from Oxford University. For the past four years he has been working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Integrative Ecology at Doñana Biological Station in Spain, at the Department of Environmental Systems Science at ETH, and at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Zurich. Saavedra works in the area of community ecology, developing quantitative methods to understand the factors responsible for sustaining large species interaction networks. His work has revealed significant connections between the structure of these networks and the range of conditions leading to species coexistence. He has established foundations to study the response of these networks to the effects of environmental change. Saavedra’s work also has applications to sustainability in large socioeconomic systems.
Robert Macfarlane joined the faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in summer 2015. He earned his BA in biochemistry at Willamette University and his PhD in chemistry at Northwestern. Macfarlane’s research is focused on developing a set of design principles for synthesizing new inorganic/organic composite materials, where nanoscale structure can be manipulated to tune the emergent physical properties of a bulk material. These structures have the potential to significantly impact energy-related research via light manipulation (e.g. photonic band gaps or plasmonic metamaterials), electronic device fabrication (e.g. semiconducting substrates or data storage devices), and environmental and medical research (e.g. hydrogels for sustained drug delivery).
Otto Cordero will join the faculty in July 2015 as an assistant professor. He received a B.S. in Computer and Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Ecuador, an MSc in Artificial Intelligence from Utrecht University, and a PhD in Theoretical Biology also from Utrecht University. For his PhD dissertation Otto worked with Professor Paulien Hogeweg on the scaling laws that govern the evolution of genome size in microbes. Otto was an NWO (Dutch Scientific Council) Postdoctoral Fellow working with Martin Polz on the evolutionary ecology of marine bacteria. During this period Otto pursued a study of ecological and social interactions in wild populations of bacteria, and demonstrated the importance of these interactions in generating patterns of diversity and sustaining ecological function. In 2013 Otto was awarded the European Research Council Starting Grant (the most prestigious career award in Europe) to reconstruct and model networks of ecological interactions that form between heterotrophic microbes in the ocean. Since November 2013 Otto has been Assistant Professor at the ETH Zurich. The main goal of Otto’s lab is to develop the study of natural microbial communities as dynamical systems, using a combination of experimental and computational approaches.
Nuno Loureiro will join the Nuclear Science and Engineering faculty as an assistant professor in January 2016; he will work with the theory group of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. He earned a degree in physics engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Lisbon, and a PhD in plasma physics from Imperial College for analytical and numerical work on the tearing instability. Loureiro held a post-doctoral position at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, a fusion research fellowship at CCFE, UK, and was awarded an advanced fellowship from the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation to work at the Institute for Plasmas and Nuclear Fusion (IPFN) at IST Lisbon. In 2012 Nuno was appointed head of the Theory and Modeling Group at IPFN and served as an invited associate professor at the physics department of IST. His research interests cover a broad range of plasma-physics theoretical problems, including magnetic reconnection, the generation and amplification of magnetic fields, turbulent transport in magnetized plasmas, and fast-particle-driven instabilities in fusion plasmas. Loureiro is the 2015 recipient of the American Physical Society’s Thomas H. Stix Award for outstanding early career contributions to plasma physics.
Ming Guo joined the faculty in Mechanical Engineering in August 2015. He received a BE and ME in engineering mechanics from Tsinghua University, and an MS and PhD from Harvard University. His doctoral research investigated the mechanical and dynamic properties of living mammalian cells, with an emphasis on intracellular mechanics and forces, the mechanics of cytoskeletal polymers, the equation of state of living cells, and the effect of cell volume and intracellular crowding on cell mechanics and gene expression. Guo discovered that there is a direct relationship between cell stiffness and volume. By varying the cell volume through a number of different techniques, he showed that the volume of cells is a much better predictor of their stiffness than any other cue, and he developed a method to measure the mechanical properties and overall motor forces inside living cells by monitoring the fluctuation of microbeads inside the cells and delineating the timescales under which the contribution of active cellular processes could be distinguished from passive mechanical properties.
Luqiao Liu joined MIT as an assistant professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in September 2015. He received his BS in physics from Peking University and his PhD in applied physics from Cornell University. He received a graduate student fellowship and the Aravind V. Subramaniam T.L. Memorial Award from Cornell. Before joining MIT, Liu worked as a research staff member at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center. His research is in the field of spin electronics. In particular, he focuses on nanoscale materials and devices for spin logic, non-volatile memory, and microwave applications. Liu is also a recipient of the Patent Application Achievement Award from IBM.
Karthish Manthiram will join the faculty as an assistant professor in Chemical Engineering in 2017. Currently a postdoctoral researcher at Caltech, he received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University and his PhD in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He received the Dan Cubicciotti Award of the Electrochemical Society, a Department of Energy Office of Science graduate fellowship, a Tau Beta Pi fellowship, the Mason and Marsden prize, a Dow Excellence in Teaching Award, and the UC Berkeley chemical engineering departmental teaching award. As a graduate student, Manthiram developed transition-metal oxide hosts for redox-tunable plasmons and nanoparticle electrocatalysts for reducing carbon dioxide. His research program at MIT will focus on the molecular engineering of electrocatalysts for the synthesis of organic molecules, including pharmaceuticals, fuels, and commodity chemicals, using renewable feedstocks.
Justin Solomon will join the faculty as an assistant professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science by July 2016. He is currently an NSF mathematical sciences postdoctoral research fellow in applied math at Princeton University. He earned his MS and PhD in computer science from Stanford University, where he also earned a BS in mathematics and computer science. Solomon is a past recipient of the Hertz Foundation fellowship, a National Science Foundation graduate fellowship, and the National Defense science and engineering graduate fellowship. His research focuses on geometric problems appearing in shape analysis, optimization, and data processing, with application in computer graphics, medical imaging, machine learning, and other areas. He taught classes on numerical analysis, computational differential geometry, and computer science at Stanford. His textbook, Numerical Algorithms, was released in 2015 (CRC Press).
Julia Ortony will join the Department of Materials Science and Engineering faculty in January 2016. She earned her BS in chemistry at the University of Minnesota and her PhD in materials chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Ortony’s research interests are in two main areas: the design and optimization of soft materials with nanoscale structure for important new technologies, and the development of advanced instrumentation for measuring conformational and water dynamics analogous to molecular dynamics simulations. By combining these thrusts, technologies ranging from biomedical therapies to energy materials will be explored with special consideration paid to molecular motion.