Psychology, Biology Professors Receive Honorary Degrees

Professor of Biology Dorothy Cheney and Professor of Psychology Robert Seyfarth have received honorary doctorates from the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, while Professor Emeritus of Psychology Jacob Nachmias has received an honorary doctorate from the SUNY College of Optometry.

Working together, Cheney and Seyfarth have contributed to our understanding of communication and social behavior in non-human primates.  To do so, they have employed especially careful long-term observational field studies, most recently with free-ranging baboons in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Their goals are to clarify the differences between nonhuman primate communication and human language, and to explore the adaptive value of primate social relationships as well as the cognitive mechanisms that underlie them. They coauthored the book Baboon Metaphysics and many papers. 

Nachmias’s honorary degree from SUNY Optometry honored him as “a leader in developing the modern understanding of spatial vision” over his long career. The author of dozens of papers, Nachmias won the Edgar D. Tillyer Award from the Optical Society of America in 1994. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Society of Experimental Psychologists, and a former member of the Visual Sciences (B) Study Section of the National Institutes of Health.  

Arts & Sciences News

Michael C. Horowitz Awarded Department of Defense Grant to Lead Team on Study of Autonomous Systems and AI

Michael C. Horowitz, Professor of Political Science, will oversee the study of autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

View Article >
Earthquakes at the Nanoscale

In collaboration with Robert Carpick and David Goldsby, Tian, who graduated from Penn in 2017 with a doctorate in physics, recently published a paper in Physical Review Letters which attempts to tackle these devastating natural phenomena by investigating the laws of friction at the smallest possible scale, the nanoscale.

View Article >
Doris Wagner Named Robert I. Williams Term Professor

A leader in the fields of plant biology, chromatin modification, and epigenetics, Wagner’s research focuses on understanding at the molecular level the complex changes that occur when an organism switches developmental programs.

View Article >
Wrongful Convictions Reported for 6 Percent of Crimes

A study from Penn criminologists results in the first general estimate for the prison population as a whole.

View Article >
Race Has a Place in Human Genetics Research, Philosopher Argues

Penn philosopher Quayshawn Spencer says there is a racial classification that’s medically useful to reliably sample human genetic diversity.

View Article >
Exploring the Sounds of the Middle Ages

Assistant Professor of Music Mary Channen Caldwell's freshman seminar course, “Hearing (in) the Middle Ages,” explores a range of sounds heard throughout the medieval period, whether produced by people, instruments, bells, or animals.

View Article >