Board approves six faculty appointments

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


Dmitry Abanin, in physics, specializes in condensed matter theory and quantum physics. His appointment is effective Aug. 1, 2023.

Abanin will join Princeton from the University of Geneva, where he has taught since 2015. He previously taught at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Canada.

The author of more than 90 peer-reviewed papers, Abanin was the recipient of a European Research Consolidator Grant in 2020 and a Sloan Research Fellowship in 2014.

He received a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.A. and a B.A. from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

David Graves, in chemical and biological engineering, specializes in plasma physics. His appointment was effective Jan. 16, 2023.

Graves came to Princeton in 2020 when he was appointed the associate lab director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). Prior to his arrival at PPPL, he was a professor of physics at the University of California-Berkeley, where he began teaching in 1986.

He is the author or co-author of more than 240 peer-reviewed publications, and a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Physical Society, the American Vacuum Society and the Society for Plasma Medicine. He has chaired or co-chaired numerous workshops for the National Research Council and the Department of Energy.

Graves earned a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and an M.S. and a B.S. from the University of Arizona.

Matthew Jones, in history, specializes in the history of science. His appointment is effective July 1, 2023.

Jones will join Princeton’s faculty from Columbia University, where he has taught since 2000, most recently as a professor of history and the James R. Barker Professor of Contemporary Civilization.

He is the author of the forthcoming book, “How Data Happened: A History from the Age of Reason to the Age of Algorithms” (Norton, 2023, with Chris Wiggins), as well as “Reckoning with Matter: Calculating Machines, Innovation, and Thinking about Thinking from Pascal to Babbage” (2016) andThe Good Life in the Scientific Revolution: Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz and the Cultivation of Virtue” (2006), both from the University of Chicago Press.

Jones was a Guggenheim Fellow and a Mellon New Directions fellow. He received a Ph.D. and an A.B. from Harvard University and an M.Phil from Cambridge University.

Patricia Smith, in the Lewis Center for the Arts, specializes in poetry. Her appointment is effective Sept. 1, 2023.

Smith is currently a visiting professor in creative writing at Princeton and a distinguished professor at the City University of New York, where she has taught since 2009.

She is the author of eight books of poetry, including “Incendiary Art,” which won the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry, the 2017 LA Times Book Prize, the 2018 NAACP Image Award and was a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize; “Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah,” which won the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; and “Blood Dazzler,” a National Book Award finalist.

Smith was a Guggenheim Fellow and a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and is the winner of the 2021 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, an award for lifetime achievement from the Poetry Foundation. Her work has appeared in numerous outlets, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Poetry, and The Paris Review. She holds an M.F.A. from the University of Southern Maine.

Assistant professor

Tatiana Engel, in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, is a specialist in theoretical and computational neuroscience. She joined the faculty in January from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and holds a Ph.D. from Humboldt University of Berlin and an M.S. from Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Allan Hsiao, in economics and public affairs, joined the faculty in January. A specialist in development economics, he holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.Phil from the University of Oxford, and an A.B. from Harvard College.