New FAS faculty reflects commitment to excellence and diversity

Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences welcomes 61 new members whose scholarship spans academic disciplines.

Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) will welcome 61 new colleagues this academic year, a group of world-class researchers and teachers who offer a diversity of perspectives and experiences to the campus community.

The FAS cohort — which includes 48 ladder faculty and 13 scholars appointed to multi-year teaching roles — brings the combined ladder faculties of FAS and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) to a record size of 721 members.

The recent hires demonstrate Yale’s commitment to building a diverse faculty of exceptional scholars, said FAS Dean Tamar Szabó Gendler.

The new members of the FAS faculty span our academic disciplines. They bolster the FAS in areas of historic strength and represent new and emerging areas of study, working at the forefront of fields from archaeology to data science,” Gendler said. “Among their number are scholars of the human mind, whose work helps us to look within; poets and writers who give us new language to limn our experiences; astronomers and physicists who explore the world at scales beyond our own.

This cohort of new faculty represents stunning breadth of knowledge, and I have been buoyed by their infectious excitement at the prospect of teaching our amazing students,” she added. “It has been a joy to welcome them to this ever-vital community.”

In the FAS, thirty-six of the new ladder faculty members joined in July, four will start in January, and eight more will serve as visiting scholars this academic year before assuming their roles as ladder faculty next fall.

About one-third of the faculty joining the FAS this academic year identify as non-white or as a member of an underrepresented minority (URM). Since the 2018-19 academic year, an average of 40% of new faculty hires have identified as non-white or as a member of a URM, according to FAS data.

The new FAS cohort includes 22 new ladder faculty in the humanities, 16 in social sciences, and 10 in the sciences.

In the social sciences, cognitive neuroscientist Kia Nobre, whose work focuses on the organizing principles of the neural systems that support adaptive cognition and behavior in the human brain, joins as Wu Tsai Professor in the Department of Psychology. She will also serve as director of the Wu Tsai Center for Neurocognition and Behavior and associate director of the Wu Tsai Institute, an interdisciplinary research enterprise connecting neuroscience and data science to accelerate breakthroughs in understanding cognition.

Luciano Floridi comes to Yale as professor in the practice in the Cognitive Science Program, and is the founding director of the Digital Ethics Center, a new campus hub for the study of the governance, ethical, legal, and social implications of digital technologies and their human, societal, and environmental impacts. Floridi has published more than 300 works on the philosophy of information, digital ethics, the ethics of artificial intelligence, and the philosophy of technology.

Nicholas Sambanis, the Kalsi Family Professor of Political Science and an expert on civil wars, ethnic conflict, and the politics of migration, joins Yale as the founder and faculty director of the Identity & Conflict Lab, a research group that studies both violent and non-violent inter-group conflict.

FAS also continues to build its expertise in the critical fields of statistics and data science. Zongming Ma, a new professor in the Department of Statistics and Data Science, is focusing on developing theories and methodologies for multi-modal and network data analyses and on designing new integration and analysis pipelines for spatial and single-cell data. Also joining the department are Lu Lu and Ilias Zadik, both assistant professors of statistics and data science.

In the humanities, new early-career faculty members join departments and programs ranging from American Studies to History of Art; and from English to Music. New senior faculty members in the humanities include Dominique Brancher, professor of French, a specialist of the French Renaissance; Kaiama L. Glover, professor of African American studies, who has written extensively on Caribbean literature; Amara Lakhous, professor in the practice in the Department of Italian Studies, who is a bilingual novelist, writing in both Arabic and Italian; Omnia El Shakry, professor in the Department of History, who specializes in the intellectual and cultural history of the modern Middle East; and Lisa Voigt, professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, an expert in colonial Latin American literature and culture.

New senior faculty in the sciences include Sam Raskin, the James E. English Professor of Mathematics, who specializes in representation theory and algebraic geometry. Matthew Eisaman joins the faculty as associate professor with tenure in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences and the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture, a part of Yale’s ambitious Planetary Solutions Project. Additional early career science faculty have joined the departments of Astronomy; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry; and Physics.

Additionally, SEAS, which hires faculty separately from FAS, added seven new ladder faculty in the departments of Applied Physics; Biomedical Engineering; Computer Science; and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.

Shreya Saxena, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, works at the intersection of neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and control theory. The research of Katerina Sotiraki, assistant professor of computer science, seeks to advance cryptography to protect against cyberattacks on quantum computers. Logan Wright, assistant professor of applied physics, performs research that spans the physics of complex systems and computer science with the goal of creating more powerful computers.

The 13 new instructional faculty in the FAS are excellent scholars who teach languages, history, mathematics, economics, and political science, Gendler said. The cohort includes Patrick Del Percio, a lector in linguistics who teaches the Cherokee language, which makes them the university’s first full-time instructor in an Indigenous language.

Brief biographies of all new FAS ladder and instructional faculty members are available on the FAS website. The news SEAS faculty members discuss their research interests and backgrounds on the school’s website.

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