New Faces at SEAS
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, MIT, 2015; PhD, University of California at San Diego, 2011; BS, University of California at Los Angeles, 2005
Tal Danino specializes in engineering biological organisms for novel health and environmental applications, beginning from a quantitative understanding of how networks of genes interact to establishing design principles for engineering biological behaviors though genetic programming. A 2015 TED fellow, he was most recently at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. Here at Columbia, he plans to teach courses in synthetic biology.
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Security, Stanford University, 2012–2014; PhD, University of Texas, Austin, 2014; MS, University of Utah, 2009; BE, Jadavpur University, India, 2003
Suman Jana specializes in computer security and privacy, including augmented reality applications and web-based systems. His award-winning research has helped report and fix over 200 high-impact security vulnerabilities across a wide range of software. A former researcher at Google, Microsoft, and Bell Labs, Jana is teaching Advanced Topics in Network Security.
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Postdoc Research Fellow, Sloan Kettering Institute, 2010–2015; PhD, Harvard University, 2010; BA and BS, University of Chicago, 2003
Karen Kasza works to better understand the principles underlying the mechanics, self-organization, and morphogenesis of living tissues across the molecular-, cellular-, and tissue-length scales, with a focus on how tissues are shaped during embryonic development. The goal is to use this understanding to shed light on human health and disease and also to learn how to better build tissues in the lab. Her experimental approach integrates quantitative in vivo live imaging, micromechanical studies, and genetics. Kasza was recently awarded a Clare Boothe Luce professorship by the Henry Luce Foundation. She is currently teaching the course Mechanics of Fluids.
Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering
Postdoc Research Fellow, McMaster University, Canada, 2014–2015; PhD, University of Padua, Italy, 2014; MS, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, 2010; BS, University of Padua, Italy, 2008
Matthias Preindl focuses on the design and control of power electronic and motor drive systems with applications in electrified transportation systems, renewable-energy power plants, and smart grids. Preindl has been a postdoctoral research associate at the McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology and a sessional professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, both at McMaster University, Canada. He plans to teach courses in electrical engineering with emphasis on power electronics and related topics.
Promotion to Full Professor
Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
Using probabilistic methods to explore the evolution of “black swans,” or unlikely situations almost impossible to anticipate, Jose Blanchet builds sophisticated computer models of financial portfolios to shock with random events like bond defaults and bankruptcies. He combines applied probability, computational finance, queuing theory, simulation methodology, and risk theory to help investors recognize warning signs before extreme events occur. The recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, Blanchet serves on the editorial board of several leading journals of stochastic operations research.
Earth and Environmental Engineering
Kartik Chandran’s research focuses on reengineering the global nitrogen cycle and applying it to produce clean water and clean energy. He integrates microbial ecology, molecular biology, and engineering principles to transform sewage and other “waste” streams from pollutants to precious resources. He and his lab study how to harness microbial communities in natural and engineered settings to efficiently produce fertilizers, commodity chemicals, energy sources, and clean water. In 2015, Chandran was named a MacArthur fellow for his work and, in 2011, he received a major grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop new models for water and sanitation in Africa.
Computer Science, joint appointment in Electrical Engineering
Vishal Misra specializes in using mathematical modeling to examine complex network systems, particularly the Internet. A widely cited expert on net neutrality, he has made major contributions to network traffic modeling, congestion control, and Internet economics, in addition to founding the data center storage startup Infinio and the popular sports website Cricinfo, now an ESPN affiliate. A fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Misra is the recipient of CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.