IGSB senior fellow Martin Kreitman named fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Nine UChicago faculty members named fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 20, 2010

Nine University of Chicago faculty members are among the 229 leaders in the sciences, the humanities and arts, business, public affairs, and the nonprofit sector who have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The new Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members announced Monday, April 19, join one of the world’s most prestigious honorary societies. A center for independent policy research, the Academy celebrates the 230th anniversary of its founding this year.

UChicago faculty members included among the 2010 class are:

Peter Constantin, Chairman of Mathematics and the Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor in Mathematics; Jan Goldstein, the Norman and Edna Freehling Professor in History; Thomas Gunning, the Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor in Art History and the College, and Chair of the Committee on Cinema and Media Studies; Robert Kottwitz, the William J. Friedman and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor in Mathematics; Martin Kreitman, Professor in Ecology and Evolution; Olufunmilayo Olopade, Associate Dean for Global Health and the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor in Medicine and Human Genetics; Eric Posner, the Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law; Thomas F. Rosenbaum, the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor in Physics and Provost; and Robert Shimer, the Alvin H. Baum Professor in Economics.

Peter Constantin, Chairman of Mathematics and the Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor in Mathematics, conducts research on nonlinear partial differential equations with applications to turbulent convection, the physics of exploding stars and other topics related to fluid dynamics. Earlier this month, Constantin was named a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

He joined the Chicago faculty in 1985. He was an Alfred P. Sloan Research fellow from 1986 to 1990, and was named a fellow of the Institute of Physics (United Kingdom) in 2004. He also was an invited speaker to the International Congress of Mathematical Physics in Paris in 1994, the International Congress of Mathematicians in Zurich in 1994, and the International Congress of Industrial and Applied Mathematics in Edinburgh in 1999.

He has made extended visits to research institutions around the world, including the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques in Bures–sur Yvette, France, and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Jan Goldstein, the Norman and Edna Freehling Professor in History, studies the intellectual and cultural history of Europe from the 18th through the 20th centuries, focusing especially on France.

Her most recent book, The Post–Revolutionary Self: Politics and Psyche in France, 1750–1850, looks at the competition among psychological theories that made bids for dominance in the French state educational system.

She has just published a micro–history, titled Hysteria Complicated by Ecstasy: The Case of Nanette Leroux.

In her next research project, focused on France but with a comparative dimension, Goldstein will examine why biological theories of human nature shifted their political affiliation around 1850.

Goldstein also is an editor of the Journal of Modern History.

Tom Gunning, the Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor in Art History and the College, and Chair of Cinema and Media Studies, researches early film history and film theory.

He is the author of The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity (1991) and D. W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film: The Early Years at Biograph (2000).

He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1998, and a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Mellon Foundation in 2009. Gunning is currently at the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie in Weimar, Germany, where he is working on a book on the invention and implications of the moving image.

Robert Kottwitz, the William J. Friedman and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor in Mathematics, specializes in number theory, representation theory and algebraic geometry. He began his academic career as acting assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Washington in 1977. He attained the rank of professor at Washington before joining the Chicago faculty in 1989.

Kottwitz also has held many visiting positions, including three at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton. Kottwitz was co–organizer of the Clay Mathematics Institute Summer School held in Toronto in 2003, and co–organized a conference to honor University of Toronto mathematician James Arthur in 2004.

Among his many invited talks was a presentation in Berlin at the 1998 International Congress of Mathematicians, and at conferences to honor mathematicians Jean–Pierre Labesse in Paris in 2003 and Robert MacPherson at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 2004. Kottwitz was awarded a 2001 Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching at the University.

Martin Kreitman, Professor in Ecology and Evolution and a member of the committees on Genetics, Genomics & Systems Biology, studies population genetics and evolution at the molecular level.

A MacArthur “genius grant” recipient, Kreitman worked with preeminent population geneticist Richard Lewontin, and chemistry Nobelist Walter Gilbert to produce a classic study, the very first survey of single nucleotide polymorphism in any organism—in this case variation in the gene Alcohol dehydrogenase in the fruit fly. He conducted this work as a graduate student at Harvard University.

His survey of more than 27,000 base pairs of sequence among 11 alleles stood as the largest of its kind for more than a decade. He and colleagues developed the first statistical tests to infer the actions of positive natural selection ¬– the “signature” of adaptive evolution – at the level of DNA, and the first methods to compare variation within and between species. These tests have been widely deployed in the study of human evolution to identify variations that have been subject to positive natural selection.

More recently, this approach, pursued in collaboration with his wife, Joy Bergelson, Chair of Ecology and Evolution, has shifted to understanding the evolution of disease resistance in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana.

Olufunmilayo F. Olopade, the Walter L. Palmer Professor in Medicine and Human Genetics, Director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics, and Associate Dean for Global Health, has showed that breast cancers in younger women of African heritage often produce a pattern of gene expression that is significantly different from that seen in older Caucasian women. These cancers also are less likely to present the molecular targets that form the basis of many standard therapies.

A McArthur “genius grant” recipient and a member of the Institute of Medicine, Olopade is one of the principal investigators in two major research projects. The Center for Interdisciplinary Health Disparities Research is sorting out the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to breast cancer, by looking at the genes, lifestyle, socioeconomic status, and social interactions of women in the United States and Africa and their relationship to breast cancer. The other project is designed to find better ways to prevent, detect and treat women at increased risk for cancers.

Olopade received her M.D. in 1980 from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, served as a medical officer at the Nigerian Navy Hospital in Lagos, and completed an internship and residency at the Cook County Hospital, in Chicago. She then completed a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Chicago, where she has been on the faculty since 1991.

Eric Posner, the Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law, joined the Law School faculty in 1999. He specializes in international law and contract law, bankruptcy, and commercial law. His books include Climate Change Justice (2010) The Perils of Global Legalism (2009), Terror in the Balance: Security, Liberty, and the Courts (2007), New Foundations of Cost–Benefit Analysis (2006), and The Limits of International Law (2005). Prior to joining the Chicago faculty, Posner taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Thomas Rosenbaum, the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor in Physics and Provost, is an expert on the quantum mechanical nature of materials––the physics of electronic, magnetic, and optical materials at the atomic level––that are best observed at temperatures near absolute zero (minus 460 degrees Fahrenheit). He conducted research at Bell Laboratories and at IBM Watson Research Center before he joined the Chicago faculty in 1983.

He directed the University’s Materials Research Laboratory from 1991 to 1994, and the University’s James Franck Institute from 1995 to 2001. Rosenbaum served as the Vice President for Research and for Argonne National Laboratory from 2002 to 2006.

His honors include an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a Presidential Young Investigator Award and the William McMillan Award for Outstanding Contributions to Condensed Matter Physics. Rosenbaum also is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and elected fellow and Centennial Lecturer of the American Physical Society.

Robert Shimer, the Alvin H. Baum Professor in Economics and the College, is an expert on labor markets. His work looks at reasons why unemployment persists while job opportunities are available; what the role should be for unemployment insurance; and what determines the frequency of employed workers changing jobs.

He uses search models to study the time workers need to find jobs and employers to find employees, and he examines other aspects of employment searches, such as when workers choose inappropriate jobs and firms hire inappropriate workers.

Shimer is the author of Labor Markets and Business Cycles as well as numerous papers on employment. He also is an editor of the Journal of Political Economy.

A complete list of the 2010 class of new members is located at the Academy’s website: http://www.amacad.org/news/a2z10.pdf A lis.t of UChicago faculty members who are AAAS fellows is at: http://www.uchicago.edu/about/accolades/aaas.shtml

“We are pleased to welcome these distinguished individuals into the Academy,” said Leslie Berlowitz, Chief Executive Officer and William T. Golden Chair. “We look forward to drawing on their knowledge and expertise to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing issues of the day.”

“The men and women we elect today are true path breakers who have made unique contributions to their fields and to the world,” said Academy Chair Louis W. Cabot. “The Academy honors them and their work, and they, in turn, honor us.”

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

Since its founding by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar–patriots, the Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Established in 1780 by John Adams and other founders of the nation, the Academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Its membership of scholars and practitioners from many disciplines and professions gives it a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary, long–term policy research. Current projects focus on science and technology; global security; social policy and American institutions; the humanities and culture; and education.

— Susie Allen, AB’09, John Easton, William Harms, and Steve Koppes contributed to this story

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