Science & Scholarship

In the College of Arts and Sciences, approximately 1,100 faculty members study just about every conceivable subject. Internationally recognized experts, they lead pioneering interdisciplinary collaborations with scholars and scientists worldwide to address local, national, and global problems.

Our faculty regularly receives prestigious honors and awards and successfully competes for research funding. In 2011, they brought in $79 million in federal and industry research awards.

Here is a small sample of their noteworthy accomplishments and a look at some of the bold and innovative research taking place across all fields and disciplines in the college—


Katja Machemer at the Grotewold Lab.The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Brain Imaging (CCBBI), a state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research facility, will accelerate our understanding of mind-behavior relationships. Housed in the Department of Psychology, CCBBI is one of only a handful of academic centers nationwide equipped with a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) system that allows researchers to go beyond merely asking the questions to literally seeing the answers.

The Center for Applied Plant Sciences (CAPS), a partnership between arts and sciences and food, agricultural and environmental sciences, supports the connection between basic research and applications in areas such as photosynthesis and carbon fixation, biomass and bioproducts, crop production enhancement, and plant-microbe interactions.


Ian Howat, assistant professor, earth sciences, received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest award given by the U.S. government to young science and engineering professionals.

Seven Arts and Sciences faculty members were elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), They are: Michael Chan, biochemistry, chemistry, and molecular and cellular biochemistry; Craig Forsyth, chemistry; Dehua Pei, chemistry; Bradley Peterson, astronomy; Marc Howard Pinsonneault, astronomy; Sheldon Shore, chemistry; and Samuel Stout, anthropology.

Peter Culicover, linguistics and Ellen Mosley-Thompson, geography, were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities, and the arts.

Ken Fujita, assistant professor, psychology, received a SAGE Young Scholars Award from the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology.

Roman Holowinsky, assistant professor, mathematics, received the 2011 Alfred Sloan Fellowship and the 2011 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize given annually to the world’s top young number theorist.

Michelle Bourgeois, and Wayne Secord, speech and hearing science, received the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s highest honors.


James Coe, professor of chemistry, isolated unique dust particles to assist in the fight against airborne-particle-caused respiratory diseases.

Microbiology Professor Michael Ibba may have found a way to interfere with Salmonella’s ability to infect about 1.4 million Americans every year.

New work by David Denlinger, distinguished university professor of evolution, ecology, and organismal biology, may assist in the development of natural and targeted controls against crop-eating insects responsible for an estimated $2-billion-a-year in crop loss and control costs.  

Mark Moritz, assistant professor, anthropology, leads an interdisciplinary study of ecological mechanisms governing relationships between human-induced environmental changes and the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases.


Chemistry Professors Christopher M. Hadad and Thomas J. Magliery (pictured left to right) received a $7.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health that will help them find ways to harness the body’s own defenses to counteract nerve agents that might be used in terrorist attacks.

Christopher M. Hadad and Thomas J. Magliery.

Christopher M. Hadad and Thomas J. Magliery

Sociology Professor Christopher Browning, Statistics Professor Catherine Calders, Sociology Professor Elizabeth Cooksey, and Geography Professor Mei-Po Kwan received a NIH/NIDA grant to study the impact of social contexts on the mental health and behavioral development during adolescence.

Bruce Weinberg, associate professor of economics, received an NSF grant for research on the economics of innovation.

Malcolm Cochran (Art) is project director for Columbus Public Art 2012; the City of Columbus received an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to present 10-15 public art projects throughout downtown during the city’s bicentennial.

Statistics Professor Noel Cressie shares in a five-year NSF grant to improve interpretability and usability of the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data.

History of Art Professors Susan and John Huntington, in collaboration with the OSU Libraries and the College of Arts and Sciences, received an NEH Preservation and Access Grant for Imaging the Buddha, a project to create a digital archive of the Huntington Collection of Buddhist and Asian Art.

A grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development funds sociology associate professor Kristi Williams’ study documenting long-term negative health consequences for unwed mothers and societal implications.

Earth Sciences Professor and Ohio Research Scholar David Cole is leading a multidisciplinary, multinational team, funded by a Sloan Foundation grant, to research energy alternatives.

Dean Steinmetz, President-Elect of the APS

Joseph Steinmetz, executive dean and vice provost, College of Arts and Sciences, and professor of psychology and neuroscience, has been elected president-elect of the Association for Psychological Science (APS). He will serve as president of the organization for one year beginning in May, 2012 and as a member of the APS board of directors until 2014.

To Steinmetz, APS is the premier voice for psychological scientists and critical to the future success of the field. “APS has had a significant impact on many areas of interest to psychological scientists, including the worlds of research, teaching, and public policy.”

While serving as APS President and board member, Steinmetz is “very interested in promoting the many important roles that psychological science plays as a foundational science involved in solving some of the world’s most complex problems.”

Steinmetz’s research focuses on the neurobiology of learning and memory using various neuroscience techniques, such as electrophysiology and brain imaging, to study how the brain encodes, stores, and retrieves memories. The findings have important implications for a variety of clinical disorders, such as autism, schizophrenia, fetal alcohol syndrome, and anxiety disorders.

Steinmetz is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Psychologists, an APS and American Psychological Association fellow, and his work has been widely published in prestigious journals. Read more online:

Mathematician Elected President of International Professional Society

Barbara Keyfitz, the Charles Saltzer Professor of Mathematics, assumed leadership of the International Council on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) on October 1. She will be its first woman president. Keyfitz, who has been at Ohio State since 2009, was previously director of the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, in Toronto, Canada, and was a faculty member at the University of Houston for 25 years. Keyfitz, who has been involved as an ICIAM officer since 2003, said,

"I am proud of my service to my profession. I have always been willing to do the job, understand the mission of the organization, and get behind it. That is what I plan to continue to do."