(Credit: Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study.)


A bond-breaking synthetic chemist described as "definitely Nobel Prize material," a pioneering mathematician who solves real-world problems using expertise in image compression, and an globally acclaimed astrophysicist specializing in star formation and the chemical evolution of galaxies will be affiliated with the Texas A&M University College of Science as three of the 10 internationally renowned scholars who have accepted invitations to serve as 2016-17 Faculty Fellows of the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS).

In a public ceremony held yesterday (Sept. 20) inside the Great Hall of the Jack K. Wiliams Administration Building, TIAS unveiled its largest class in history -- each of whom is renowned for conducting groundbreaking research in chemistry, mathematics, engineering, medicine, astronomy, atmospheric sciences, marketing or law. The latest class of Faculty Fellows includes members of the nation's National Academies as well as representatives from major scientific or professional organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany.

  • Christopher C. Cummins, Henry Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Among the most innovative synthetic chemists of his generation and known for his impact on small molecule activation, Cummins is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a corresponding member of Germany's Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Cummins will collaborate with faculty-researchers from the College of Science and the Dwight Look College of Engineering.

  • Ingrid Daubechies, James B. Duke Professor of Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University: One of the world's most cited mathematicians recognized for her study of the mathematical methods that enhance image-compression technology, Daubechies is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Daubechies will collaborate with faculty-researchers from the College of Science and the Dwight Look College of Engineering.

  • Robert Kennicutt Jr., Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy, University of Cambridge: Best known for his work on the Kennicutt-Schmidt law, which relates gas density to star-formation rates, Kennicutt is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society in the United Kingdom. Kennicutt will collaborate with faculty-researchers in the College of Science.

Each Faculty Fellow will partner with one or more of the departments offering graduate degrees housed in Texas A&M's 16 colleges or schools, or at Texas A&M's branch campus in Galveston. The institute provides fellowships for graduate students to work with Faculty Fellows as well as funding to support visiting graduate students and postdoctoral researchers affiliated with the Faculty Fellows.

"The talent that the TIAS program brings to Texas A&M is causing everyone else in higher education to take notice," said Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, a longtime champion of the institute who provided the funds to launch TIAS in 2010. "It was money well spent to enrich the academic experience with such world-class scholars and researchers."

"This fifth class of TIAS Faculty Fellows offers truly outstanding credentials," said Texas A&M President Michael K. Young. "In collaboration with our exemplary faculty, these Fellows will sustain the extraordinary trajectory of TIAS, inspire truly transformative intellectual experiences among our students, and advance the international reputation of the Texas A&M research enterprise."

Each year, TIAS selects its Faculty Fellows from among top scholars who have distinguished themselves through outstanding professional accomplishments or significant recognition. Former classes have included two Nobel laureates, a Wolf Prize recipient, a recipient of the Hubble Medal in Literature for Lifetime Achievement, a recipient of the National Medal of Science, an awardee of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, a recipient of the highest award in Architecture and a two-time recipient of the State Prize of Russia.

"Each of these remarkable individuals offers a strong portfolio of world-class accomplishments in their fields," said Provost and Executive Vice President Karan Watson. "As we have seen with the previous four classes of Faculty Fellows, the research that will emerge from their collaborations with our own outstanding faculty and students will be exciting and extraordinary."

"This fifth class of 10 outstanding scholars have intellectual strengths centered in six colleges; however, their scholarship impacts many disciplines," said TIAS Founding Director John L. Junkins. "These Fellows being in residence afford our faculty and students extraordinary opportunities to collaborate one-on-one with top people in their fields. We expect game-changing and life-changing outcomes as a consequence."

The institute officially will induct its Faculty Fellows Class of 2016-17 at its annual gala in early 2017.

To learn more about TIAS, visit http://tias.tamu.edu/.

See a feature in the Bryan-College Station Eagle.

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About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world's leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $866.6 million in fiscal year 2015. Texas A&M ranked in the top 20 of the National Science Foundation's Higher Education Research and Development survey (2014), based on expenditures of more than $854 million in fiscal year 2014. Texas A&M's research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit http://research.tamu.edu.


Contact: Rusty Cawley, (979) 458-1475 or rcawley@tamu.edu

Cawley Rusty

  • Christopher Cummins

  • Ingrid Daubechies

  • Robert Kennicutt Jr.

    (Credit: International Astronomical Union.)

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