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New Faculty - College of Sciences

Seven new faculty members will join the College of Sciences this fall.

San Diego State University’s College of Sciences is devoted to science education and research. Students of the college spend many hours working hard in the labs conducting experiments and collecting data.

Seven new faculty members will join the college this fall. They are among 54 new faculty members joining the SDSU family this semester — the largest cohort of faculty to be hired by SDSU since the 2007/2008 academic year.

Department of Astronomy

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Robert Quimby, Ph.D. (University of Texas, 2006) Quimby is an observational astronomer specializing in supernovae. His research interests include thermonuclear supernovae; core-collapse supernovae; the use of supernovae as cosmological probes; detection of supernovae in the early universe; gamma-ray bursts; rare transient phenomena; low luminosity extragalactic explosions; and new techniques for the identification of transient sources in astronomical data. He has helped to discover a new class of high luminosity supernovae and is currently working to uncover their physical nature and determine their suitability as probes of the high-redshift universe. Quimby will serve as the director of SDSU’s Mount Laguna Observatory.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

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Gregory Holland, Ph.D. (University of Wyoming, 2003) Holland is an analytical and physical chemist whose research focuses on developing and applying nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to understand the molecular structure and dynamics of biologically inspired materials, molecules and nanomaterials. A continuing theme in his work is linking the role of molecular structure and dynamical features to material properties and biological function. He is principal investigator on an Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) grant to understand spider silk, a fiber composed entirely of protein that has mechanical properties superior to man-made fibers. He has also been investigating the molecular structure of neurotoxins from spider venom and how these peptides interact with the lipid bilayer with NMR methods. These neurotoxins are indispensable tools for understanding ion channel function and are drug candidates as analgesics and antiarrhythmics.

Department of Computer Science

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Wei Wang, Ph.D. (University of Nebraska – Lincoln, 2009) Wang is a computer scientist specializing in wireless networking and computer aided healthcare systems. His areas of interest include wireless multimedia communications, cyber physical systems for intelligent transportation, early stage breast cancer imaging and decision support system, information security in pharmacy anti-counterfeiting and educational robotics. He is presently researching innovative wireless and portable solutions for seizure patient monitoring, microwave tomography imaging solutions for early stage breast cancer screening, and resource-constrained device-to-device wireless multimedia communication solutions.

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

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Jerome Gilles, Ph.D. (Ecole Normale Superieure of Cachan, France, 2006) Gilles is a mathematician specializing in applied harmonic analysis. His areas of interest include Fourier and wavelet analysis, signal and image processing, inverse problems, compressive sensing and adaptive (data-driven) methods. He is presently developing a new adaptive wavelet theory called Empirical Wavelet Transform (EWT) which paves the way to the creation of new harmonic analysis tools providing much more accurate time-frequency representation than other existing methods. He is currently investigating the use of such tools in the neuroscience field by analyzing electroencephalographic signals involved in Parkinson's disease and Epileptic patients.

Bo-Wen Shen, Ph.D. (North Carolina State University, 1998) Shen is an atmospheric scientist specializing in global numerical weather and climate modeling, high-end computing, and nonlinear dynamics.  His areas of interest include numerical hurricane modeling, predictability of nonlinear weather systems, nonlinear multiscale analysis, scientific visualizations and parallel computing.  He has been a principal investigator for the NASA High-End Computing (HEC) program since 2006, and a principal investigator for the NASA Advanced Information System Technology (AIST) program of Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO) since 2009. Since 2011, he has studied the chaos in high-order Lorenz models with the aim of understanding the impact of butterfly effect on predictability.

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William Zahner, Ph.D. (University of California, Santa Cruz, 2011) Zahner is a mathematics educator whose uses a sociocultural approach to learning to research how students learn important algebraic concepts though participating in mathematical discussions. Zahner’s recent work has combined tools from discourse analysis and mathematics education research to explore the affordances of classroom discussions in linguistically diverse mathematics classrooms where some students are classified as English Learners. As a graduate student, Zahner was supported by a fellowship from the National Science Foundation funded Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as. He also has six years of experience as a secondary mathematics teacher, including three years in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia.

Department of Psychology

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Ksenija Marinkovic, Ph.D. (University of California, Los Angeles, 1993) Marinkovic is a cognitive neurophysiologist with extensive experience in multimodal functional brain imaging. Broadly, she is interested in spatio-temporal (i.e. "where and when") characteristics of distributed neural circuits underlying cognitive and emotional functions such as cognitive control, language, and face perception. Of particular interest are alcohol-induced impairments of self-regulatory functions which may contribute to increased drinking and alcohol dependence as a function of genetic makeup and family history. The synergistic approach based on complementary imaging methods is well-suited for obtaining highly precise insight into on-line dynamics of these processes, with implications for individualized prevention strategies and pharmacogenetics.

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