Board of Trustees approves 14 faculty appointments

May 9, 2017 9:48 a.m.

The Princeton University Board of Trustees has approved the appointment of 14 faculty members, including six full professors and eight assistant professors.
 

Professors

Joshua Akey, in ecology and evolutionary biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, will join the faculty this summer from the University of Washington, where he leads the Akey Lab and has taught since 2004. Akey completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Houston and earned a B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh. Akey's research focuses on the human population and evolutionary genomics, and on delineating the genetic architecture of quantitative traits and complex diseases.

Leah Platt Boustan, in economics, joins the faculty this spring from the University of California-Los Angeles, where she has taught since 2006. An expert in economic history, labor economics and urban economics, Boustan's research explores the Great Black Migration from the rural south during and after World War II, and the mass migration from Europe to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Boustan received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and A.B. from Princeton.

Yiyun Li, in creative writing and the Lewis Center for the Arts, will join the faculty this summer from the University of California-Davis, where she has taught since 2008. Previously, Li was an assistant professor at Mills College from 2005 to 2008. She received her M.F.A. and M.S. from the University of Iowa and B.S. from Peking University. Li's novels have won numerous awards and have been translated into more than 20 languages. In 2010, she was honored as a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.

Amilcare Porporato, in civil and environmental engineering and the Princeton Environmental Institute, will join the faculty in the fall from Duke University, where he has taught since 2003. Previously, Porporato was on the faculty of the Polytechnic of Turin from 1995 to 2003, where he also earned his M.C.E. He received his Ph.D. from the Polytechnic of Milan. Porporato’s research focuses on nonlinear and stochastic dynamical systems, hydrometeorology and soil-atmosphere interaction, soil biogeochemistry, and ecohydrology.

Nieng Yan will join the faculty in the fall as the Shirley M. Tilghman Professor of Molecular Biology. She comes from Tsinghua University, where she has served as a professor since 2012 and earlier as a principal investigator. Yan received her Ph.D. from Princeton and continued as a postdoctoral research associate from 2005-07. Her B.S. is from Tsinghua University. Yan's research focuses on the combination of structural biology and biochemistry to elucidate the mechanisms of substrate recognition and transport.

Leeat Yariv, in economics, will join the faculty in early 2018 from the California Institute of Technology, where she has taught since 2005. Yariv was a visiting professor at Princeton in 2016 and at Yale University the previous year. From 2001-05, she was an assistant professor at the University of California-Los Angeles. Yariv received her Ph.D. from Harvard and M.S. and B.S. degrees from Tel Aviv University. An expert in applied theory and experimental economics, her research interests concentrate on game theory, political economy, psychology and economics.

Assistant professors

Tristan Buckmaster, in mathematics, will join the faculty in the fall. He comes to Princeton from New York University, where he has served as an instructor since 2014. Buckmaster earned his Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig, M.S. from Bonn University, and B.Sc. degrees from Australian National University and Monash University. His work specializes in fluid mechanics and partial differential equations.

Sujit Datta, in chemical and biological engineering, will join the faculty this summer from the California Institute of Technology, where he is a postdoctoral fellow. Datta received his Ph.D. from Harvard and M.S. and B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. His research examines the intersections of engineering, physics, chemistry, biology and materials science.

Gabriele Di Cerbo, in mathematics, will join the faculty in the fall from his position as an assistant professor at Columbia University. Bringing expertise in algebraic geometry and the minimal model program, Di Cerbo earned his Ph.D. from Princeton and his master's and bachelor's degrees from the University of Rome.

Monica Huerta, in English and American studies, will join the faculty in Fall 2019 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton. She was previously a postdoctoral associate at Duke. Huerta received her Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley, M.A. from Princeton and B.A. from Harvard. A cultural and literary historian of 19th- and 20th-century America, her research interests encompass visual culture, photography, African American and Latino literature and culture, science studies, and legal studies.

Christina León, in English, joins the faculty this summer from Oregon State University, where she has been an assistant professor since 2014. She specializes in hemispheric American literature with a focus on Latina/o, Caribbean and diasporic writing. León earned her Ph.D. from Emory University and M.A. and B.A. from the University of Florida.

David Silver, in economics and public affairs, joins the faculty this summer after having served as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. A Ph.D. graduate from the University of California-Berkeley and an undergraduate alumnus of the University of Colorado, Silver specializes in health economics.

Peter Wirzbicki, in history, will join the faculty in the fall from the University of Chicago, where he has been an assistant professor since 2013. Previousaly, Wirzbicki was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and received his Ph.D. from New York University and B.A. from Swarthmore College. He focuses on American history, looking at interactions between black intellectuals, the Transcendentalist movement, and abolitionist radicals in antebellum New England.

Autumn Womack, in African American studies and English, will join the faculty in the fall from the University of Pittsburgh, where she has been an assistant professor since 2013. Womack specializes in African American literature and culture with an emphasis on visual culture, 19th-century literature and print culture. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia, M.A. from the University of Maryland and B.A. from The George Washington University.