New Faculty Join Penn Arts & Sciences

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Penn Arts & Sciences appointed 20 new members of the faculty for the 2020 to 2021 academic year. These include three appointments at the rank of full professor: Jared Farmer, Professor of History; Yoichiro Mori, Calabi-Simons Professor of Mathematics and Biology; and Karen Tani, Seaman Family University Professor. 

Other appoitments to named professorships include Sonal Khullar, W. Norman Brown Associate Professor; Tyshawn Sorey, Presidential Assistant Professor of Music; and Tariq Thachil, Madan Lal Sobti Associate Professor for the Study of Contemporary India. Thachil is also Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India. 

The full list of new faculty is below: 

Michael Arcaro, Assistant Professor of Psychology, focuses on developmental neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, development of sensory systems, and mammalian vision, including experience-driven plasticity to explore how the brain changes in response to visual input. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Abdulhamit Arvas, Assistant Professor of English is a specialist in early modern literature and culture, the history of sexuality, queer theory, race studies, cross-cultural encounters, and Islam in the Renaissance. Arvas received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University and comes to Penn from University of California, Santa Barbara.

Martin Claassen, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, studies theoretical condensed matter physics, with a focus on nonequilibrium and driven quantum systems with strong correlations or topological order. His Ph.D. is from Stanford University. 

Natacha Diels, Assistant Professor of Music, is a founding member of the innovative Ensemble Pamplemousse and a composer who integrates visual and sound art with touches of whimsy and irony to reflect on the human condition.  She received her D.M.A. in Composition from Columbia University and comes to Penn from University of California, San Diego.

Jared Farmer, Professor of History, is an expert in U.S. history, particularly in the North American West; environmental history, and landscape studies. His Ph.D. is from Stanford University and he comes to Penn from Stony Brook University.

Wayne Gao, Assistant Professor of Economics, studies econometrics, micro theory, and economics of networks, with particular emphasis on robust and semi-parametric identification, estimation, and inference. His Ph.D. is from Yale University.    

Joachim Hubmer, Assistant Professor of Economics, studies macroeconomics of technological change and inequality.  In particular, he is interested in understanding the forces shaping distribution of income, consumption, and wealth in the economy, and how these distributions in turn impact macroeconomic performance. He earned his Ph.D. from Yale University.

Kevin He, Assistant Professor of Economics, studies microeconomic theory, behavioral economics, game theory, and psychology and economics. His Ph.D. is from Harvard University.

Nicole Holliday, Assistant Professor of Linguistics, studies sociolinguistics, specifically, how individuals interact with language to conceptualize and construct identity of both self and others. She as a special interest in how individuals who cross traditional racial and ethnic boundaries reflect multiple social identities through linguistic practices. Her Ph.D. is from New York University and she comes to Penn from Pomona College.

Sonal Khullar, W. Norman Brown Associate Professor in the Department of History of Art, studies the art of South Asia from the 18th century onward, with particular interests in histories of cosmopolitanism, postcolonial art worlds, art-writing and life-writing, and critical historiographies of art. Her Ph.D. is from University of California, Berkeley and she comes to Penn from University of Washington.

Arnold Mathijssen, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, researches biological and soft matter physics, in particular the collective functionality of intelligent active matter, and how to bridge multi-scale biology with the physics of solids, fluids, and information. His Ph.D. is from University of Oxford and he will join Penn in January 2021. 

Yoichiro Mori, Calabi-Simons Professor of Mathematics and Biology, is an expert in mathematical biology, physiology and biophysics, and applied and numerical analysis. His Ph.D. is from New York University and he comes to Penn from University of Minnesota.

Yumeng Ou, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, studies partial differential equations, harmonic analysis, problems related to Fourier restriction estimates, distance set problems, singular integral theory, and sparse domination estimates. Her Ph.D. is from Brown University.

Tyshawn Sorey, Presidential Assistant Professor of Music, works at the intersections of improvisation and composition, explores the limits of virtuosity, and is creatively rethinking the possibilities and limits of art music and jazz. He performs and composes across categories. Sorey’s Ph.D. is from Columbia University and he comes to Penn from Wesleyan University.

Xin Sun, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, specializes in probability theory, mathematical physics, and random planar geometry, including SLE, Gaussian free field, random planar maps, and Liouville quantum gravity. His Ph.D. is from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Karen Tani, Seaman Family University Professor (joint appointments in History and the Law School), studies U.S. legal history, particularly social welfare law, administrative agencies, and the role of rights in the modern American state; and history of disability law in the late 20th century. She earned her J.D. and Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania. She comes to Penn from University of California, Berkeley. 

Tariq Thachil, Madan Lal Sobti Associate Professor for the Study of Contemporary India in the Department of Political Science, researches political parties and political behavior, identity politics, and urbanization and migration, with a regional focus on South Asia. He earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University and comes to Penn from Vanderbilt University. Thachil is also Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India. 

Elly Truit, Associate Professor of History and Sociology of Science, specializes in the study of the history of science, medicine, and technology and medieval history, including medieval medicine, the history of magic, intellectual history, the crusades, global networks in the Middle Ages, and courtly culture. Her Ph.D. is from Harvard University and she comes to Penn from Bryn Mawr College.

Corlett Wood, Assistant Professor of Biology, studies evolutionary biology and ecology and genetics of evolutionary constraint with an emphasis on the ecology and evolution of species interactions in the plant root microbiome. Her​​​ Ph.D. from University of Virginia and she comes to Penn from University of Pittsburgh.

Chenshu Zhou, Assistant Professor of History of Art, researches a variety of questions related to cinema and media, such as exhibition and moviegoing, cinema ontology, screen cultures, media archaeology, and media infrastructure, with a regional focus on China. Her Ph.D. is from Stanford University and she will join Penn in January 2021. 
 

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