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Two New Sloan Fellows

Physicist and economist are honored as outstanding early-career researchers

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February 20, 2013 | by Megan Fellman

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University physicist Nathaniel Stern and economist Bruno Strulovici each have been awarded a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship for 2013 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The $50,000 fellowships are awarded in eight scientific fields: chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences and physics. 

Stern and Strulovici are among 126 outstanding early-career scientists and scholars being recognized for their achievements and potential to contribute substantially to their fields. The recipients were chosen from 61 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

Stern is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy, and Strulovici is an assistant professor of economics; both are in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Stern’s research lies at the boundary between optical and condensed matter physics and spans nanostructures and quantum computing. Based on a foundation of quantum optics and spintronics, his work seeks to combine methods of photonics and quantum measurement with novel nanoscale materials to address questions concerning how light, matter and magnetism interact on the smallest scales.

His current interests are in exploring coherent magneto-optical phenomena in low-dimensional systems with strong spin couplings. Stern’s experimental approaches are drawn from a wide range of optical techniques, from time-resolved spectroscopy to ultra-low light detection at the single-photon level. 

Strulovici is an economic theorist who studies how changes or shocks in economic environments affect decisions and equilibria. He has a particular interest in dynamic decision-making and learning. In one application, Strulovici showed how voting rules, power concentration and information affect social experimentation and reforms. In another, he described how the mobility of capital across insurance or financial markets varies with the concentration and market power of financial intermediaries and with the amount of risk and frictions in those markets.

Strulovici’s most recent work concerns, first, contract renegotiation with asymmetric information and, second, the comparison of the interdependence of random variables, with applications to measures of inequality (welfare economics) and systemic risk (finance and macroeconomics).

The Sloan Research Fellowships have been awarded annually since 1955. Administered and funded by the Sloan Foundation, the fellowships are awarded in close cooperation with the scientific community. Potential fellows must be nominated for recognition by their peers and subsequently are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.