The College Welcomes New Faculty

Fourteen new faculty members join the College of Arts & Sciences this year, bringing a wide range of expertise across diverse disciplines to strengthen our research profile and continue our tradition of collaboration, innovation and discovery.

As home to the university’s core courses, the College provides essential instruction to virtually every undergraduate at Cornell. One example: all engineering students take mathematics through the College’s Department of Mathematics. That department has been enriched by the addition of  three new faculty members: Slawomir Solecki, who specializes in logic and is currently doing research on Fraissé limits; Philippe Sosoe, who specializes in probability theory and is currently doing research on distances in random media and dispersive equations with random data; and Daniel Halpern-Leistner, whose research focuses on incorporating modern methods to develop a new approach to moduli problems, one of the oldest questions in algebraic geometry.

The commitment of the College – and Cornell through the Provost’s office – to recruiting dual career families is strong. Departments and colleges are working together to recruit top faculty; this collaboration is illustrated by Halpern-Leistner, whose spouse was recruited by the College of Veterinary Medicine, and physicist Kin Fai Mak, whose spouse was recruited by the College of Engineering. Kin’s latest project uses optical techniques to study and control atomically thin materials; he and his spouse will begin at Cornell Jan. 1.

Two new distinguished professors of the practice will enhance the College’s integration of academic scholarship with practical experience. Latin specialist Daniel Gallagher is renowned in the movement promoting spoken Latin and helps to solidify Cornell’s leadership and expertise in the field. Poet and translator Valyzhna Mort brings a broad understanding of international literature and creative writing to Cornell; her latest book of poetry, “Rose Pandemic,” was recently released in Belarus.

The College continues to ensure the vitality of the humanities at Cornell with numerous faculty additions. Philosopher Rachana Kamtekar specializes in classical Greek and Roman philosophy; her current project is on ancient determinist-antideterminist arguments. Her book, "Plato's Moral Psychology" is forthcoming later this year. Art historian Andrew Moisey studies the history, theory, and practice of photography and is working on a manuscript, “The Photographic World Picture.”

Historian Kristin Roebuck focuses on modern Japan, with research interests encompassing the history of the body, medicine and law, race and sexuality, and Japanese international relations. Having spent two years at Cornell as a Mellon Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow, she treasures “the combination of ambition and down-to-earthness that seems to characterize life and work at Cornell.”

The College’s emphasis on interdisciplinary research matters to economist Tommaso Denti. His current research project is on endogenous information acquisition in games and the interaction between economics and computer science at Cornell will enrich his work. Interdisciplinarity is also essential to accelerator physicist Jared Maxson. He’s studying the physics of bright particle beams in both linear and circular particle accelerators, and as he notes, Cornell’s newly formed Center for Bright Beams “is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for accelerator physics to connect with the larger physical sciences community.”

The College’s important contributions to contemporary issues will be enhanced with the addition of Sabrina Karim, Caplan Faculty Fellow, to the government department, with her expertise in peace and conflict studies and her research projects on re-building the police and military forces of post-conflict countries as well as on assessing trends in post-conflict sexual violence.

The “vibrant academic life” at Cornell is particularly compelling to macroeconomist Mathieu Taschereau-Dumouchel; his work focuses on networks and business cycles.

The College’s long tradition in global research and engagement excites anthropologist Matthew Velasco, whose bioarchaeological research is centered in Andean South America. His current project explores how the creation of new social identities during a time of conflict and political turmoil in the late prehispanic Andes shaped life experiences of health, violence, and social privilege.