David Brainard Appointed Associate Dean for the Natural Sciences


David Brainard, RRL Professor of Psychology, has been appointed Associate Dean for the Natural Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences, effective January 1, 2019. He will oversee the School’s natural sciences, including the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Linguistics, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, and Psychology, as well as the School’s research centers.

Brainard is an eminent cognitive neuroscientist whose research focuses on human vision, visual neuroscience, and computational modeling of visual processing. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society and the Association for Psychological Science. In 2013, he received the School’s highest teaching honor, the Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award. His Penn affiliations include the Graduate Groups in Neuroscience and Bioengineering and the undergraduate Cognitive Science and Visual Studies programs.

“David brings to this important role a distinguished background as both a scholar and an academic leader,” says Steven J. Fluharty, Dean and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience.

Brainard has served as Chair of the Department of Psychology and Director of the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science. He is a former Chair of the School of Arts and Sciences Personnel Committee and was a member of the 2008 faculty task force that recommended changes to the committee’s structure. Brainard is currently Director of Penn’s Vision Research Center, Co-Director of the Penn Computational Neuroscience Initiative, and a member of the Executive Committee of MindCORE, an interdisciplinary effort to understand human intelligence and behavior.

Brainard will succeed Larry Gladney, Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor for Faculty Excellence in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, who will become the inaugural Dean of Diversity and Faculty Development for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yale.


Arts & Sciences News

Spencer Named Robert S. Blank Presidential Professor

Quayshawn Spencer, Associate Professor of Philosophy, has been named the Robert S. Blank Presidential Associate Professor of Philosophy.

View Article >
State Department Awards Penn Team $2 Million to Preserve Cultural Heritage in Northern Iraq

The two-phase, three-year project aims to revitalize the city of Mosul and its culture.

View Article >
The Nanotopography of an Atomic World

Physicists in the School of Arts and Sciences offer insights into the structure of atomically thin materials using nanoscale images of 2D membranes.

View Article >
Marking the Winter Solstice, from Neolithic Times to Today

In cultures the world over, the promise of longer days has provided reason to celebrate for millennia, according to Penn Arts and Sciences scholars.

View Article >
Electric Bond

Behind the discovery of a new class of electronic materials is a 20-year collaboration between two Penn Arts and Sciences physicists, winners of the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

View Article >
"A Home for the Holidays"

Center for Africana Studies Summer Institute for Pre-Freshmen alum Kyle Oden, C’20, and his family are featured in a CBS special celebrating families whose lives have been changed by adoptions.

View Article >