Four faculty members in the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS) have been named 2015 Distinguished University Professors:
- Catherine Carr
- Jordan Goodman
- Christopher Monroe
- Margaret Palmer
These four awardees join the list of 23 current CMNS professors (and 11 CMNS emeriti faculty members) who have received the honor. Distinguished University Professors are faculty members who have been recognized nationally and internationally for the importance of their scholarly achievements. They have also brought distinction to UMD through their broad activities as a scholar, teacher and public servant. Distinguished University Professors are selected by the university’s President, with recommendations from a committee composed of the Provost and seven members from diverse disciplines, including several Distinguished University Professors.
Catherine Carr, a professor in the Department of Biology, joined the University of Maryland faculty in 1990 as an assistant professor and was promoted to professor in 1999. She is also currently an ADVANCE Professor, acting as a role model and catalyst within CMNS for improving work environments for women. Carr is an international expert on the brainstem circuits that underlie sound localization. As a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech, she performed neurophysiological and anatomical studies of sound location in the barn owl. At UMD, she expanded her research to include neurophysiological changes associated with coding temporal information. She has developed recording techniques for working with young barn owls to understand the development of the neural code for interaural time differences. As a result, she is aware of the importance of understanding sound localization strategies among various land vertebrates and their relevance to the cochlear implant population. Her research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1987, and she is the co-principal investigator on a new T-32 grant from NIH to train graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. In addition to her work at UMD, Carr has also been director of the neurobiology and behavior course at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Wood’s Hole, Mass., served on MBL’s science council and education committee, and directed the Grass Foundation Lab at MBL.
Carr is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has received an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, two Humboldt Foundation Senior Research awards, a Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg fellowship, an honorary doctorate from the University of Southern Denmark, and the University of Maryland College of Life Sciences Research Award.
Jordan Goodman, a professor in the Department of Physics, arrived at the University of Maryland as an undergraduate student and ultimately earned his bachelor’s degree (1973), master’s degree (1975) and Ph.D. (1978) in physics from the university. As a particle astrophysicist, Goodman studies cosmic radiation bombarding Earth. This quest has taken him to many interesting observatories across the globe, including the Milagro gamma ray experiment in New Mexico and the IceCube neutrino observatory in Antarctica. He is currently the U.S. lead investigator and spokesperson for the High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-Ray Observatory, located 13,500 feet above sea level on the slopes of Mexico’s Volcán Sierra Negra.
Goodman, who chaired the Department of Physics from 1999 to 2006 and currently serves as chair-elect of the University Senate, is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has received the American Association of Physics Teachers’ top honor for teaching (the Richtmyer Memorial Lecture), the University of Maryland President's Medal, the Kirwan Prize for Undergraduate Education, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, the UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher award, the CMNS Board of Visitors Creative Educator Award, and the UMD Physics Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Christopher Monroe—the Bice Zorn Professor of Physics and a fellow in both the Joint Quantum Institute and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science—is a quantum physicist who specializes in the isolation of individual atoms for applications in quantum information science. After graduating from MIT, Monroe earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Colorado. From 1992 until 2000, he worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, where he helped demonstrate the first quantum logic gate and pioneered the use of atoms for quantum memory devices. From 2000 until he joined UMD in 2007, Monroe was a faculty member at the University of Michigan. In 2008, Monroe’s group produced quantum entanglement between two widely separated atoms and for the first time teleported quantum information between matter separated by a large distance. Since 2009, his group has used ultrafast laser pulses for speedy quantum entanglement operations, pioneered the use of trapped ions for quantum simulations of many-body models related to quantum magnetism, and has proposed and taken the first steps toward creating a large-scale, reconfigurable and modular quantum computer.
Monroe is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received the Arthur Schawlow Prize in Laser Science from the American Physical Society, the I.I. Rabi Prize from the American Physical Society, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the International Quantum Communication Award, and the CMNS Board of Visitors Distinguished Faculty Award.
Margaret Palmer, a professor in the Department of Entomology, joined the university in 1989 as an assistant professor in biology. With a background in hydrology and ecology, Palmer has contributed to testing and extending fundamental theory in marine and stream ecosystems on the interactions between organisms, boundary layer flows and geomorphic processes. She is an international expert on the restoration of streams and rivers, and co-author of the book Foundations of Restoration Ecology. She has worked extensively on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem processes, the biogeochemistry of streams and wetlands, and organism dispersal in aquatic ecosystems.
Palmer is also known for her work at the interface of water science and policy, having served as a technical advisor and innovator to help build solution-focused teams that solve problems with social, legal, policy and scientific aspects. As the director of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), Palmer oversees collaborative, cross-disciplinary research groups that work to identify data-driven solutions to society’s most challenging and complex environmental problems and ultimately inform decision makers. SESYNC is funded through a $27.5 million award to UMD from the National Science Foundation.
Palmer is a fellow of the Ecological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has also participated as a fellow in the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program and the Lilly Fellows Program, and received the Award of Research Excellence from the Society for Freshwater Science.
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About the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland educates more than 7,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college's 10 departments and more than a dozen interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $150 million.