The alumni received graduate degrees from UMD in astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics and physics
Nine alumni of the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences recently received appointments to tenure-track faculty positions at institutions around the globe. Following are brief introductions to the alumni.
Prashant Athavale (M.S. ’07, Ph.D. ’09, applied mathematics & statistics, and scientific computation) joined Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, as an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics in September 2018. Athavale uses mathematical techniques to solve problems in image processing, especially in physics and biomedical engineering. Prior to his Clarkson appointment, Athavale was a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at Johns Hopkins University, a Fields-Ontario Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto and a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA.
Gerald Carter (Ph.D. ’15, biology) joined the Ohio State University as an assistant professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology in fall 2018. Carter’s research focuses on how animals such as vampire bats choose, maintain and regulate their social relationships. Carter was previously a Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell, Germany, and a Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.
Wesley Farrell (Ph.D. ’15, chemistry) joined the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry in July 2018. Farrell develops methods for making high-precision polyolefins, a group of molecules that includes common types of plastic and foam materials. Before joining the Naval Academy, Farrell was an adjunct professor at Montgomery College in Maryland and a postdoctoral researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Rodrigo Herrera-Camus (M.S. ’11, Ph.D. ’15, astronomy) will join the Universidad de Concepción in Chile as an assistant professor in the Department of Astronomy in March 2019. Herrera-Camus studies how stars form in nearby galaxies. Currently, Herrera-Camus is a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Munich, Germany.
Jordan Horowitz (Ph.D. ’10, physics) joined the University of Michigan as an assistant professor in the Department of Biophysics and the Center for the Study of Complex Systems in January 2019. Horowitz is interested in theoretical biophysics, particularly the energetic trade-offs that constrain the structure, function and operation of life. Previously, Horowitz was a Physics of Living Systems fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain.
Mohit Iyyer (M.S. ’14, Ph.D. ’17, computer science) joined the University of Massachusetts Amherst as an assistant professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences in September 2018. Iyyer is interested in natural language and develops methods for generating long and coherent units of text, answering questions about documents, and understanding narratives in fictional text. Prior to his faculty appointment, Iyyer was a postdoctoral researcher at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle, Washington.
Alice Olmstead (M.S. ’12, Ph.D. ’16, astronomy) joined Texas State University as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics in fall 2018. Olmstead studies strategies for improving undergraduate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) instruction through teaching-focused workshops, local instructional change teams, and topic-specific instructional communities. Previously, Olmstead was a postdoctoral researcher at Western Michigan University’s Center for Research on Instructional Change in Postsecondary Education.
Gretchen Peters (Ph.D. ’15, chemistry) joined James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in fall 2018. Peters develops self-assembling molecular complexes that can selectively recognize small biomolecules and optimizes the systems for targeted drug delivery. Prior to joining James Madison University, Peters was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.
Gina Quan (Ph.D. ’17, physics) joined San José State University in San José, California, as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Quan’s research focuses on fostering equity, authentic physics practices and cultural change within physics departments. Before her faculty appointment, Quan was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center for STEM Learning.
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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 9,000 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 $175 million.