Academic Year Welcomes New Faces, and Not Just Students

Introducing the Newest Members of Our Faculty.

“Institutions are much more than bricks and mortar,” Dean Katepalli Sreenivasan said on September 8, at a gathering in honor of the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering’s newest faculty members. “They are also made of people and ideas. Thanks in part to them,” Sreenivasan said, “we are going to be an even more vibrant, interesting, and exciting place.”

Future issues of Cable are sure to have more in-depth coverage of the cutting-edge research, stimulating teaching, and valuable mentoring being done by those who joined us in the fall of 2014, but in the meantime, see below for a brief introduction.

Industry Professor Sergio Bianchi comes to the Department of Finance and Risk Engineering from the University of Cassino in Italy. His research interests mainly concern the modeling of stock markets by means of (multi)fractional stochastic processes. In this field, his specific contributions concern the dynamical estimation of the regularity exponent.

Assistant Professor Weiqiang Chen of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has been the recipient of an American Heart Association and a Baxter Young Investigator Award. He is currently working to develop a new method of cultivating stem cells that is expected to open up myriad possibilities for regenerative therapies and drug treatments.

Lecturer Michael D’Emic of the Department of Technology Management and Innovation has decades of experience in financial management, having served as the chief financial officer of the American Stock Exchange and as a technical expert for the International Monetary Fund.

Assistant Professor Emilie Dressaire, one of the newest members of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is focused on understanding and manipulating systems in which particles, interfaces and fluids interact in fascinating and complex ways.

Assistant Professor Siddarth Garg of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is doing exciting work on the safety, reliability, and efficiency of computing devices. He is particularly interested in how electronic components can be designed and manufactured securely and how power consumption can be better controlled.

Lecturer Tom Helling of the Department of Technology Management and Innovation has done pro bono work with a number of entrepreneurial ventures in the media and sustainability space. He is primarily interested in sustainability-oriented innovation and eco-innovation, in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Industry Associate Professor Devorah Kletenik, an alum of the School of Engineering, has joined the Department of Computer Science and Engineering to teach “Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving.” Her own research, which focuses on machine learning, explores how to reduce the costs of using Boolean classifiers.

Assistant Professor Constantine Kontokosta has explained that new ways of collecting and analyzing urban data are helping advance a fundamental understanding of the science of cities—an area that requires an interdisciplinary focus bridging engineering, data science, and the social sciences. Kontokosta has been at the forefront of this field, serving as the Deputy Director of NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) since its launch, and he now joins the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering.

Lecturer Peter Li works in the General Engineering program and is himself an alum of the school. He also advises the oSTEM @ NYU club, which is dedicated to educating and fostering leadership for LGBTQA communities in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

Assistant Professor Michael O’Neil is one of the newest members of the Department of Mathematics, with a joint appointment at the Courant Institute. His research focuses on the partial differential equations (PDEs) of classical physics, for example, those that arise when working with electromagnetics, acoustics, heat flow and other such areas.

Assistant Professor Davood Shahrjerdi, a new member of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is studying solid-state materials that are shrunk to extreme nanoscale with the aim of creating new paradigms in solid-state nanoelectronics for sensing, energy harvesting, and energy-efficient computing, among other areas. He was named an IBM Master Inventor in 2013 and has more than 100 publications and patents to his credit.

Industry Associate Professor Jim Wielaard of the Department of Mathematics research focuses on information processing in early sensory pathways in mammals, particularly on its role in perception, cognition, and consciousness. Using detailed large-scale models and psychophysics, his work aims to contribute to our understanding of sensory decision-making in the brain.

The NYU School of Engineering also welcomes a host of wonderful visiting faculty. They include Narges Mousavi, Simon Neidenthal, Zhigang Shen, and Beth Noveck, who is the Jerry Hultin Global Network Visiting Professor.