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Seven U. of I. professors join Center for Advanced Study

Craig Chamberlain, News Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Seven professors at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign begin their appointments this fall as professors in the Center for Advanced Study – one of the highest forms of recognition the campus bestows on faculty members for outstanding scholarship.

The new CAS professors are Tamer Basar, electrical and computer engineering; Peter Beak, chemistry; Bruce Hajek, electrical and computer engineering; Stephen Jaeger, Germanic languages and literatures, and comparative and world literature; Susan Kieffer, geology; Michael Moore, law and philosophy; and Dale van Harlingen, physics.

The appointments, which are permanent, were announced May 4 and approved by the university’s board of trustees during its July 14 meeting in Chicago.

CAS professors, which number 24 with the recent additions, are drawn from throughout the campus. They continue to serve as full members of their home departments, while participating in a variety of formal and informal activities organized by the center, and also advising on the center’s future programs and direction.

Basar, who is the Fredric G. and Elizabeth H. Nearing Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is internationally recognized for his scholarly contributions to the fields of systems, control and game theory. He has pioneered the game-theoretic approach to robust estimation, identification, and control, which has also had significant impact in other fields, such as economics. He also has made fundamental contributions to the theory of nocooperative dynamic games. Basar is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the European Academy of Sciences, as well as a fellow in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the International Federation of Automatic Control.

He is a past president of the IEEE Control Systems Society and founding president of the International Society of Dynamic Games.

Beak, who holds the James R. Eiszner Distinguished Chair in Chemistry, has made fundamental contributions to organic chemistry that have provided unifying concepts and opened new areas of investigation. His work has clarified the effect of molecular environment on structure-stability relationships, provided new reactions that are widely used for chemical synthesis, and identified novel reactive intermediates.

Beak is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also has received numerous awards, lectured around the world, and served as research adviser for more than 100 graduate and postdoctoral students who are making significant independent contributions to their fields.

Hajek pursues basic research in the area of modeling, analysis, and optimization of the physical process of communication. He has worked on several aspects of communication within computer networks, including selection of information paths through a network, resolution of contention for access at a network interface, and fair distribution of network resources among competing information flows. He also has worked on time-varying wireless communication channels and communication channels in which information is conveyed in timing.

Hajek is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator's Award. He also has received the Kobayashi Award for Computer Communications, from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and served as president of the IEEE Information Theory Society. At Illinois, he has been a Beckman Fellow in the Center for Advanced Study and a University Scholar.

Jaeger's research has focused on the courtly literature of the Middle Ages and the interrelations of vernacular and Latin cultures. His contribution is the illumination of the real social background to two phenomena long considered merely fictional or literary: courtliness and courtly love.

He also has studied medieval humanism and written on its emergence at cathedral schools in the pre-courtly period and its influence on Gottfried's “Tristan.”

Among Jaeger’s awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship; Honorary Research Fellowship, University of London; two Fulbright Fellowships; Research Prize, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. In 2002, he was elected a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America.

Kieffer, who holds a Charles R. Walgreen Jr. Chair, is known for her work in geological fluid dynamics and for the Kieffer model of heat capacities and thermodynamic properties of complex minerals. As a planetary scientist, she has studied mega-scale geologic processes, such as meteorite impacts, volcanic eruptions, and river floods, on Earth, Mars, Venus, the moon, Io and Triton.

Kieffer is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is only the second American and the only woman to have been awarded the Spendiarov Prize of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Other awards and honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, a U.S. Department of the Interior Meritorious Service Award, and a Day Medal from the Geological Society of America.

Moore, who also holds a Charles R. Walgreen Jr. Chair, is regarded as a leading legal theorist, with broad interests across many fields and several disciplines. His research and writing have dealt with such current issues as whether torture may be used justifiably in the war on terrorism, whether the death penalty has been imposed justly in certain well-known cases, and whether the legal prohibition on recreational use of certain drugs can be justified.

Moore is a professor of philosophy as well as law and is co-director of the Program in Law and Philosophy at Illinois. He has held a series of distinguished chairs and fellowships at other universities. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Law and Philosophy and serves on the editorial board or as guest editor of four other journals. Two of his books on responsibility theory have been the subject of extensive, published symposiums at the University of Pennsylvania.

Van Harlingen is a physicist working in the area of experimental condensed matter who has focused on quantum phenomena and phase dynamics in superconducting systems. He has made contributions to the field of Scanning Probe Microscopy and was instrumental in the development of the Scanning SQUID Microscope for magnetic imaging of vortices in superconductor systems. He pioneered the phase-sensitive SQUID interferometry technique for determining the symmetry of the order parameter in unconventional superconductors and verified the d-wave symmetry of the high-temperature superconductors.

Van Harlingen, the Donald E. Biggers Professor of Engineering, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow in the American Physical Society. He was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was awarded the 1998 Oliver E. Buckley Prize (with Donald Ginsberg) from the American Physical Society.