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Faculty Named to Endowed Chairs

Oct 27, 2020   |   by Hannah Silverstein   |   Dartmouth News

Eleven members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Geisel School of Medicine, and Thayer School of Engineering began the summer term with new appointments to endowed professorships. Four others have been reappointed to the chairs they already held. The honors, given each year for multi-year terms, recognize outstanding research and teaching across the institution.

"Endowed professorships provide a means of recognizing the scholarship and teaching of some of our most accomplished faculty members," says Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Elizabeth Smith. "Their contributions to the creation and dissemination of knowledge at Dartmouth and beyond are truly extraordinary."

Among this year's new endowed professors:

David Kotz '86

Pat and John Rosenwald Jr. 1952 Tuck 1953 Professorship

I'm interested in how mobile and wearable systems can support health and wellness, and in the security and privacy issues raised by these systems. These interests have converged as I shift my attention to "smart" homes, which could be more than half of American homes by the end of the decade. I'm launching a five-year effort to improve the privacy and security of smart-home products, and teaching a new course on the topic this fall. I have mentored almost 100 undergraduate and graduate students over the years, and am intensely proud to see what they've accomplished. I enjoy the challenge of helping students understand and apply the concepts of computing to real applications—and enjoy their joy when they succeed in tackling challenges beyond what I've taught them. This chair gives me the time and opportunity to deepen my efforts to help Dartmouth evolve and improve. As a member of the Class of 1986, a member of the faculty for almost three decades, and a parent of three Dartmouth students, I'm convinced of the importance of a liberal arts education. And as a lover of the outdoors, I enjoy the opportunity to explore the mountains and rivers of New Hampshire.

Elizabeth Murnane

Charles H. Gaut and Charles A. Norberg Assistant Professor of Engineering

I work in the areas of human-centered design (HCD) and human-computer interaction (HCI), conducting interdisciplinary research to engineer technologies aimed at promoting the well-being of people and the planet. My lab develops intelligent and interactive tools for sensing and intervention, with a focus on societally impactful applications in education, health, and sustainability. In pursuing these challenges, I love involving students from various educational levels and with diverse backgrounds, interests, and skill sets. I find mentoring and teaching to be deeply rewarding, and I especially enjoy helping students get comfortable when answers are not immediately clear, in a way that leaves space for exploration, fallbacks, and rebounds. I've found that this approach builds creativity and resilience, while fostering a collaborative, inclusive, and downright fun academic environment.

I'm delighted to receive this honor, not only because of the recognition and support the endowed professorship provides for me personally, but also because it underscores Dartmouth's broader commitment to human-centered research and similarly reflective teaching philosophies. HCD and HCI continue to attract underrepresented students and particularly women to technical fields, and I'm incredibly excited to contribute to this momentum as a new member of the Thayer community.

Barrett Rogers '84, Thayer '86

International Paper Professorship in Honor of Andrew C. Sigler '53 Tuck '56

I study plasma, the fourth state of matter—how free electrons and nuclei interact—and fusion energy, a clean and limitless source of electricity. It is essential to the present generation that we develop this technology, because oil will run out in a generation or two and we must have some clean alternative. Other clean sources, including solar, are insufficient. But progress in fusion research is limited, mainly by scarce funding. Europe and Japan are far ahead of the United States. We need an urgent, crash program to have this energy source available. I loved my time here an undergrad, so when job in my field opened here, I eagerly applied.

Teaching students is a joy—their energy and ability energize everything. They keep me fresh. The funds from the endowed chair will be very helpful in funding students at all levels to do research with me.

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