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Two Faculty Members Are Named Sloan Fellows

Frank Calegari and Adilson E. Motter have been named Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows.

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March 5, 2009 | by Megan Fellman
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Two Northwestern University faculty members have been named Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows.

They are Frank Calegari, assistant professor of mathematics, and Adilson E. Motter, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, both in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

They are among 118 outstanding early career scientists, mathematicians and economists chosen from 61 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. The awards include a $50,000 grant for a two-year period that is administered by the university. The Sloan Fellows are free to pursue whatever lines of inquiry are of most interest to them, and they are permitted to use fellowship funds in a variety of ways to further their research.

Calegari joined Northwestern in 2006 after serving as Benjamin Peirce Assistant Professor at Harvard University for four years. He studies algebraic number theory, which concerns the symmetries of solutions to polynomial equations, with a particular interest in a collection of conjectures known as the Langlands Program.

With Matthew Emerton, professor of mathematics at Northwestern, Calegari has developed a general approach to studying the question of "reciprocity." It was a special case of reciprocity that was proved by Andrew Wiles as the main ingredient of his proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.

Motter joined Northwestern in 2006 after serving as a Director's Postdoctoral Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and as a Guest Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany.

Motter's research is focused on complex systems and nonlinear phenomena. He pioneered efforts in the study of nonlinear dynamics in complex networks that have helped explain the widespread occurrence of synchronization and cascading processes in physical and biological systems. His group recently developed the concept of synthetic rescue in network biology, which is a collective gene interaction effect that can compensate for cellular failures.

A former Searle Junior Fellow at Northwestern's Searle Center for Teaching Excellence, Motter is a member of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, the Institute for Sustainable Practices and the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO).

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant-making institution that supports original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance.