UC Santa Cruz welcomes 24 new faculty members

UC Santa Cruz is welcoming 24 new faculty members to campus this academic year. Areas of expertise include public health, stem cell, education innovations, and much more. UC Santa Cruz now has 615 tenure-track faculty members. 

Shiva Abbaszadeh, assistant professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Shiva Abbaszadeh focuses on developing new biomedical imaging instrumentation (such as positron emission tomography and optical imaging), computational approaches, measurement techniques, and sensors to provide necessary tools to visualize and detect cancer at the molecular level and further our understanding of disease mechanisms.

Elin Carstensdottir, assistant professor
Computational Media
Elin Carstensdottir is a human-computer interaction and games researcher specializing in interactive narrative and user experience design in games. Her focus is on developing tools, methods, and models to assist game and interactive narrative designers, in particular building automated analysis tools that help increase understanding, and evaluating user experiences as it relates to design.

Raquel Chamorro-Garcia, assistant professor
Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology
The Chamorro-Garcia lab is interested in mechanisms of genome-environment interactions. In other words, how environmental factors are altering our genome leading to phenotypic variation and disease?

Yve Chavez, assistant professor
History of Art and Visual Culture
Yve Chavez's current research examines the artistic contributions of California’s first peoples at the historic missions and the survivance of California Indian visual and material culture.

Jeffrey Flanigan, assistant professor
Computer Science and Engineering
Jeffrey Flanigan works on natural language processing and machine learning. His research centers around improved computer understanding and production of language through the use of semantic representations and deep learning. His work focuses on areas such as semantic parsing and generation for meaning representations, as well as applications such as machine translation.

Daniel Fremont, assistant professor
Computer Science and Engineering
Daniel Fremont uses automated reasoning to improve the reliability of software, hardware, and cyber-physical systems. He develops algorithms for system design, verification, and testing, as well as theory for the core computational problems underlying them. A focus of his work is algorithmic improvisation, a theory allowing systems to use randomness for robustness, variety, or unpredictability with provable correctness guarantees; applications include randomized robotic planning, software fuzz testing, and systematically training machine learning models for autonomous cars.

Filippo Gianferrari, assistant professor
Filippo Gianferrari has published mostly on the topic of Dante’s intellectual formation and is currently writing a book provisionally titled “Training the Reader: Dante and the Rise of Vernacular Literacy,” which investigates Dante’s critical stance toward contemporary education. His research focuses on lay education during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and is particularly concerned with the relationship between literature and education.

David Harrison, lecturer with potential security of employment
Computer Science and Engineering
David Harrison is a three-decade tech industry veteran, a serial entrepreneur, and an award-winning teacher. His research focuses on wireless communication protocols for The Untethered Internet of Things: modest functionality communication devices non-deterministically scavenging energy from their environment.

Rebecca Jensen-Clem, assistant professor
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Rebecca Jensen-Clem combines the world’s largest telescopes with advanced adaptive optics systems to directly image planets orbiting nearby stars.

Juhee Kang, lecturer with potential security of employment
Juhee Kang researches the social impact of digital technology within marginalized communities in developing countries with thematic interests in gender, mobility and digital skills. At UCSC, Kang teaches and work for the Everett Program, a pioneering service learning program to use digital technology for community engagement and social changes.

Gueyon Kim, assistant professor
Gueyon Kim’s primary fields of interest include international trade, applied microeconomics, and labor economics. In particular, Kim’s research interest lies in understanding how globalization and technology affect the labor market through firm-level responses in terms of innovation, firm organization, and outsourcing or offshoring decisions.

Jacqueline Kimmey, assistant professor
Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology
Jacqueline Kimmey’s lab is interested in how innate immune responses alter susceptibility/resistance to bacterial infection. Its major focus centers on the Streptococcus pneumoniae, which causes bacterial pneumonia, but the lab also studies other streptococci including S. pyogenes (Group A Strep), S. agalactiae (Group B Strep) and Staphylococcus aureus.

Robbie Kubala, assistant professor
Robbie Kubala (Philosophy) works on topics in normative ethics and aesthetics. He has published on the psychology of valuing, the importance of aesthetic experience for our practical identities, the meaning of love in the novels of Proust, and the relationship between philosophy and literature.

Jess H.K. Law, assistant professor
Jess H.K. Law is a linguist who studies how language users interpret words, phrases and sentences.

Shaun McKinnie, assistant professor
Shaun McKinnie’s research lab will use a combination of synthetic organic chemistry and biochemistry to understand how bacteria, plants, and other organisms make biologically active molecules—including antibiotics, herbicides and toxins.

Jaimie Morse, assistant professor
Jaimie Morse studies knowledge, technology, and policy in biomedicine and public health, with a focus on the interplay of law, health, and human rights in processes of policy change. Her current project examines these dynamics through a focus on the emergence of the sexual assault medical forensic exam (commonly known as the “rape kit”) as a tool of anti-rape activism in emergency medicine in the United States since the 1970s and its adaptation for use with refugees and internally displaced persons.

Justin Perez, assistant professor
Latin American and Latino Studies
Justin Perez is a cultural anthropologist who studies how new technologies of HIV prevention shape transgender and gay communities in Peru. His research interests include queer studies, critical global health, discrimination and stigma, and lowland South America.

Pratigya Polissar, associate professor
Ocean Sciences
Pratigya Polissar’s research uses the chemistry of molecular fossils to understand how the water cycle, climate, oceans, and vegetation responded to past climatic perturbations, how fast they responded and whether there are thresholds that will lead to rapid and non-linear changes in the future. Polissar currently focuses on reconstructing how Earth’s atmospheric CO2 levels have changed in the geologic past and how those changes shaped our present world, in particular rainfall patterns and ecosystems.

Heather Savage, associate professor
Earth and Planetary Sciences
Heather Savage studies faults and how rocks deform, both through field observations and laboratory experiments.

Samuel Severance, assistant professor
Samuel Severance’s research explores how to improve the design and implementation of education innovations–notably curricular materials and learning technologies–that can support all K–12 students and teachers in having meaningful and empowering science learning experiences. In addition, Dr. Severance’s research examines how the development and use of novel design practices and digital tools may serve to productively organize the diverse forms of expertise found within research-practice partnerships and lead to more inclusive and agile collaborative design spaces.

Ali Shariati, assistant professor
Biomolecular Engineering
Ali Shariati’s research aims to understand how stem cells decide to choose between two conflicting fates: division versus differentiation. He combines emerging genome-editing technologies with single cell imaging to determine regulatory principles of cell fate decisions in pluripotent cells.

Tyler Sorensen, assistant professor
Computer Science and Engineering
Given the slowing of hardware scaling, significant computational gains must now be won by renegotiating traditional abstraction layers and specialization. Tyler Sorensen’s research aims to examine “vertical slice” system design approaches, including application characterizations, programming language design, and full-system validation techniques. He is a member of the Khronos Group where he contributes to emerging programming features for GPU and accelerator architectures.

Emine Hande Tuna, assistant professor
Emine Hande Tuna works on contemporary issues in value theory and aesthetics, and on the history of these fields.

Aiming Yan, assistant professor
Aiming Yan’s research focuses on atomic-/nano-scale structural and property tailoring, and in-situ/operando study of functional materials via combined synthesis and advanced microscopy approaches.