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Five Inducted into AAAS

Four faculty attend induction ceremony for one of nation’s most prestigious honorary societies

October 28, 2010 | by Megan Fellman
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Four members of the Northwestern University faculty were inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at a ceremony earlier this month. The academy is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

The four are among the five Northwestern faculty elected fellows in April: President Morton Schapiro, David Ferster, John Hagan, Monica Olvera de la Cruz and David Seidman.

Ferster, Hagan, Olvera de la Cruz and Seidman attended the induction ceremony for the new class of fellows held at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. President Schapiro was unable to attend. The event included signing the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Book of Members, a tradition dating back to 1780.

The five are among the 210 new fellows and 18 foreign honorary members who are leaders in research, scholarship, business, the arts and public affairs.

The Northwestern members:

Morton Schapiro is the president of Northwestern University. He is a professor of economics in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and also holds appointments in Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and the University’s School of Education and Social Policy.

One of the country’s leading authorities on the economics of higher education, President Schapiro has expertise in the area of college financing and affordability. He has written more than 100 articles and five books and has edited two other books, most with his longtime co-author Michael McPherson. They include “The Student Aid Game: Meeting Need and Rewarding Talent in American Higher Education” (Princeton University Press 1998); “Paying the Piper: Productivity, Incentives and Financing in Higher Education” (also with Gordon Winston, University of Michigan Press 1993); and “Keeping College Affordable: Government and Educational Opportunity” (Brookings 1991). His edited volumes include “College Success: What It Means and How to Make It Happen” (College Board 2008) and “College Access: Opportunity or Privilege?” (College Board 2006). President Schapiro began his term as Northwestern’s 16th president Sept. 1, 2009. Previously he was president of Williams College.

David Ferster is professor of neurobiology and physiology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern.

Ferster is studying the neuronal circuitry of the visual cortex of the cat and how it processes information that the cortex receives from the eye. The neurons of the cortex are exquisitely sensitive to the orientation, direction of motion and size of elements of the visual image. Ferster’s recent studies have focused on how this selectivity is generated by the electrical properties of cortical neurons and by the synaptic connections between neurons. His work has revealed general principles governing how the mammalian cortex performs complex computations. He has also developed the in-vivo patch recording technique, which is widely used for studying neuronal processing in the brain.

John Hagan is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Law and chair of sociology at Northwestern and co-director of the Center on Law and Globalization at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago.

Hagan pioneered the application of advanced crime measurement techniques to the study of genocide in his empirical work on violence in Darfur and the Balkans in 2003-05 and was honored with the Stockholm Prize in Criminology in 2009. Using systematic methods of estimating deaths from surveys administered by nongovernmental organizations and the U.S. State Department, Hagan led research studies that found that widely circulated murder estimates in the tens of thousands in Darfur should have been in the hundreds of thousands.

He is the co-author of “Darfur and the Crime of Genocide” (Cambridge University Press 2009), which received the American Sociological Association Crime, Law and Deviance Section’s Albert J. Reiss Distinguished Publication Award and the American Society of Criminology’s Michael J. Hindelang Book Award.

Monica Olvera de la Cruz is the Lawyer Taylor Professor, professor of materials science and engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and director of the University’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.

Olvera de la Cruz has developed theoretical models to determine the thermodynamics, statistics and dynamics of macromolecules in complex environments, including multi-component solutions of heterogeneous synthetic and biological molecules. She was selected this year by the U.S. Department of Defense as a fellow in its National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship program and received the 2007 Cozzarelli Prize from the National Academy of Science. Olvera de la Cruz is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and vice-chair of the National Academy of Science’s NRC Condensed Matter and Materials Research Committee. She is on the advisory board of many national research centers and is a member of the editorial board of numerous scholarly journals.

David Seidman is the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and founding director of NUCAPT (Northwestern University Center for Atom-Probe Tomography).

Seidman’s research aims to understand physical phenomena on an atomic scale in a wide range of material systems. Currently he is studying aluminum-, nickel- and iron-based alloys for possible high-temperature and structural applications and metal silicide/silicon reactions pertinent to solid-state devices. Seidman and his research group utilize highly sophisticated microscopy and spectroscopy instrumentation (3-D atom-probe tomography, transmission electron and scanning electron microscopies) to study interfaces on a subnanoscale level. Seidman recently was named a 2010 MRS Fellow by the Materials Research Society (MRS). He was selected as the MRS 2008 Turnbull Lecturer and was the recipient of the 2006 Albert Sauveur Achievement Award from the American Society for Materials (ASM) International. He has served as editor of several scholarly publications, including Interface Science, Journal of Materials Science and the Materials Research Society Bulletin.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Current Academy research focuses on science and technology policy; global security; social policy; the humanities and culture; and education. The Academy’s work is advanced by its 4,600 elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business and public affairs from around the world.

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