Science and Scholarship

All across the arts and sciences, our faculty and students take on the BIG challenges of our time, bending their energies and skills to finding viable solutions for current and emerging problems. Never satisfied with the status quo—at home or abroad—they push boundaries, build bridges and form collaborations and partnerships worldwide to ask questions and find solutions that lead the way toward living in a better world. Their work is recognized and supported by major granting agencies. These include:


The National Science Foundation’s top award given to the nation’s most promising junior faculty members whose work shows potential for major, ongoing contributions to their fields. ASC’s latest CAREER Award winner, Matthew Kahle, assistant professor, mathematics, will receive $450,000 funding for his project, “Random spaces and groups,” from NSF’s programs in Geometric Analysis and Topology and Probability and Combinatorics.

Sloan Fellowship

Julie Golomb

Awarded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, supports U.S. and Canadian early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and ability identify them as the next generation of scientific leaders. Julie Golomb, assistant professor, psychology, is one of 126, Alfred Sloan Fellowship winners this year and the only Sloan Fellow chosen from Ohio. The two-year $50,000 award will support her research on interactions among visual attention, memory, perception and eye movements that uses a variety of tools, including human psychophysics, gaze-contingent eye-tracking, fMRI, ERP and TMS. 

JST Presto Award

Japan Science and Technology Agency(JST) PRESTO (Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology) Award, from the Japanese government, helps outstanding young scientists initiate their research programs. It is open to Japanese scientists working anywhere in the world or any researcher working in Japan. Kotaro Nakanishi, assistant professor, chemistry and biochemistry, received a three-year PRESTO grant for $400,000-450,000 (depending on the rate of USD to Japanese yen) to support his studies of the structure of macromolecules to better understand their mechanisms of recognition, which one day might lay foundations for therapeutics to treat human diseases.

The Helen B. Warner Prize

The American Astronomical Society’s top recognition for young astronomers who are already leaders in their fields. Christopher Hirata, professor of astronomy and physics, is this year’s Helen B. Warner Prize winner for: “The extraordinary depth of understanding he brings to his work on cosmological recombination, structure formation, and dark energy and cosmic acceleration is facilitating the next generation of important cosmological experiments.”

Fulbright Scholarship Program

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, awards grants to exceptional scholars in diverse fields to further their studies abroad. Nine ASC scholars are recipients: Carol Boram-Hays, lecturer, art history; Philop Brown, professor, Japanese and East Asian history; Alcira Dueñas, associate professor, history; Lisle Gibbs, professor, evolution, ecology and organismal biology; Bryan Mark, associate professor, geography; Stephen Petrill, professor, psychology; Anil Pradhan, professor, astronomy; Ana Elena Puga, assistant professor, theatre; and Linn Van Woerkom, associate provost, director, University Honors & Scholars, and professor of physics.

Doctoral Candidate Discovers New Species/Genus of Mite

It was just another day of collecting soil samples for evolution, ecology and organismal biology doctoral candidate Samuel Bolton, who studies mites and collects a gazillion samples. He never dreamed that the bucket he brought back to his lab would contain an extraordinary discovery—a new species and genus of mite—the first mite from a strange worm-like family (the Nematalycidae) to be described in more than 40 years. Bolton’s description of Osperalycus tenerphagus is published online in the Journal of Natural History.

New Experiment Finds Diamonds May be Computing's Best Friend

Chris Hammel, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Experimental Physics and director of the NSF-funded Center for Emergent Materials, led a landmark study that could revolutionize computing. His group demonstrated that information can flow through a diamond wire—passed along by a magnetic effect called “spin”—which could be used to transmit data in computer circuits, making computers both faster and more powerful. This experiment showed that diamond transmits spin better than most metals previously used.

Geographer Finds Drug Traffickers Destroying Central American Forests

Kendra McSweeney, associate professor, geography, is lead author of a new study published in Science, finding that drug trafficking endangers rainforests in Central America.

Economist's New Study Shows Cohabitation Affects Long-term Relationships

Professor of economics Audrey Light is co-author of a new study finding that cohabitation, in the long run, plays “a major role” in the overall number of couples that stay together for eight-plus years.

Arts and Sciences Faculty Named American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows

In recognition of outstanding contributions to their fields: John Freudenstein, evolution, ecology and organismal biology (EEOB); Norm Johnson, EEOB; David Manderscheid, mathematics, and executive dean and vice provost; and Zucai Suo, chemistry and biochemistry, have been named American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows. The AAAS is the world’s largest general science organization.

Divisional Dean Will Serve as Chair of National Committee for Mathematics

Peter March, divisional dean, natural and mathematical sciences, will serve a four-year term as chair of the National Committee for Mathematics, which represents the U.S. in the International Mathematical Union and promotes the advancement of the mathematical sciences. 

Geography Professor Named Distinguished Scholar in Regional Development and Planning

Daniel Sui, professor and chair, geography, was named Distinguished Scholar in Regional Development and Planning by the Association of American Geographers. This award recognizes Sui’s ongoing research contributions to the applied or theoretical understanding of development, planning and/or policy issues.

Graduate Students in 2013 Capital One Modeling Competition

A team of five statistics graduate students: Xin Huang, Andrew Landgraf, Liubo Li, Srinath Sampath, and Ran Wei, won the 2013 Capital One Modeling Competition, competing against top data modeling teams from around the country.