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Five professors named AAAS fellows

Fellows are recognized for their efforts to advance science or its applications

  • Embargo date: November 26, 2019 10:00 AM CST
  • Created: November 26, 2019
  • Published Version

Five Northwestern University faculty members have been elected 2019 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society. 

Jennifer Cole, Noshir Contractor, Vicky Kalogera, Michael Miksis and Farhad Yusef-Zadeh have been recognized for their distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. They will be honored on Feb. 15 at the 2020 AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

Cole is a professor of linguistics in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. She is recognized for her distinguished contributions to the understanding of prosody and intonation, standing out for her theoretical and methodological innovation and for outstanding service to the field.

As a phonologist, Cole investigates the sound patterns of human languages. Her primary area of research is prosody — the intonation and temporal patterns of language — and its role in conveying information about word and sentence structure, pragmatic meaning, speaker’s emotion and the dynamics of social interaction. Cole lab uses experimental and observational approaches to examine prosody in English and other languages.

Contractor is the Jane S. and William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the department of industrial engineering and management sciences at the McCormick School of Engineering, professor of management and organizations in the Kellogg School of Management and professor of communication in the School of Communication. He is recognized for intellectual leadership in the development of computational social science and web science and his contributions to network science theory and methodology.

A network scientist, Contractor investigates factors that lead to the formation, maintenance and dissolution of dynamically linked social and knowledge networks in a wide variety of contexts, including communities of practice, enterprises, science and engineering communities, public health, virtual worlds and long-distance space exploration. He directs Northwestern’s Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) research group.

Kalogera is the Daniel I. Linzer Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Weinberg and founding director of Northwestern’s Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA). She is recognized for her distinguished contributions to novel, joint analysis and interpretation of electromagnetic and gravitational wave observations of binary compact objects, her theoretical modeling of such astrophysical sources and her CIERA leadership.

Kalogera’s research addresses the physics of compact astrophysical objects: white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, especially in binary systems, when two objects orbit each other. She studies how such systems are born, how they evolve and how their lives end. Kalogera is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the leading astrophysicist for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration. She is a sought-after lecturer with a passion for advancing science communication with both experts and the public.

Miksis is a professor of engineering sciences and applied mathematics in McCormick. He is recognized for his research in theoretical and computational mechanics and for his leadership in scholarly journals.

Miksis is an applied mathematician who works on problems in microfluidics and soft matter theory. He is particularly interested in problems in biology such as the interaction of biological membranes with fluid flow and electric fields. He develops novel analytical and computational methods to explore these interactions. Miksis is vice president for publications for the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and previously served as editor-in-chief of the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics. 

Yusef-Zadeh is a professor of physics and astronomy in Weinberg. He is recognized for his distinguished contributions to multiwavelength astronomy, particularly for observations and interpretations of the massive black hole and its environment in the center of our galaxy.

Yusef-Zadeh’s main interest is to understand the physical processes that take place in the center of the Milky Way. His research group uses multiwavelength observations to monitor flaring activity of the Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole, the consequences of cosmic rays interacting with the gas in the nucleus of the galaxy, the origin of the galactic-center magnetized filaments and how star formation occurs near the black hole. 

Founded in 1848, AAAS includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. It publishes the journal Science, which has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement and more.