In Brief: May-June 2006

June 1, 2006
  • The department of art and art history will be renamed the department of art, art history, and visual studies. "In the past, painting, architecture, and sculpture were considered the 'elevated arts' and the others were considered minor," says department chair Patricia Leighten. "But in the past few decades there have been enormous intellectual changes. Duke is in the vanguard of this, helping to broaden notions of what constitutes an interesting image."
  • Henry Petroski, Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of civil and environmental engineering and a professor of history, has won the 2006 Washington Award, one of the oldest and most prestigious engineering awards in the country, for his accomplishments in making engineering theory and practice understandable to the general public. Previous recipients have included Orville Wright (1927) and Henry Ford (1944).
  • Alexander Rosenberg, R. Taylor Cole Professor of philosophy, has been awarded the Romanell-Phi Beta Kappa Professorship in Philosophy for 2006-07, which recognizes distinguished achievement and the scholar's contributions to public understanding of the field. Recipients of the professorship receive a stipend of $7,500 and are expected to present three public lectures at their institutions. Rosenberg's lecture series, "The Meaning of Darwinism," will guide the listener through the theoretical place and role of Darwinism within the natural sciences, humanities, and social and behavioral sciences.
  • Susan Roth, dean of social sciences and a professor of psychology: social and health sciences, has been selected to succeed Cathy N. Davidson as the university's vice provost for interdisciplinary programs.
    Sarah Deutsch, professor of history and chair of the history department, will replace Roth as dean of social sciences.
    Davidson will continue her research on the evolution of "learning disability" and "giftedness" as scientific and educational categories. She has been named John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of interdisciplinary studies in addition to her continuing role as Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English.
  • Douglas T. Breeden, dean of the Fuqua School of Business since 2001, has announced his decision to step down, effective June 30, 2007. He plans to resume teaching and research full time while retaining his appointment as the William W. Priest Professor of finance.
  • Tuan Vo-Dinh, a pioneer in the field of photonics at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has joined the biomedical engineering department at the Pratt School of Engineering, where he will serve as director of the Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics. Vo-Dinh says he plans to establish Duke as a national "center of gravity" for photonics research.
  • Three assistant professors of electrical and computer engineering at the Pratt School of Engineering have won Faculty Early Career Development awards from the National Science Foundation, its most prestigious honor for junior faculty members. The award recognizes and supports the early career development activities of those teacher-scholars most likely to become academic leaders. Each award is expected to total $400,000 over five years.
    Adrienne Stiff-Roberts is developing sensors that simultaneously detect multiple signals, such as infrared radiation, magnetic fields, surrounding pressure, and light of various wavelengths, which can be used for such things as special spectrometers for gas sensing. Jungsang Kim, a Nortel Networks Assistant Professor, is working to make quantum computing a reality. Sule Ozev is developing technologies to automate the design and testing of increasingly miniaturizing analog circuits.
  • Public-policy lecturer Bruce Payne will become executive director of the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation in New York City at the end of the spring semester. In his new position, Payne will work closely with the Rubin Museum of Art, which focuses on the art of the Himalayas. He plans to develop collaborative initiatives with colleges and universities for the foundation about the art and culture of the Himalayan region, and the foundation will sponsor his ongoing seminar exploring the ethical and political dimensions of theater in New York. He will also be involved in the foundation's work on civil liberties, at-risk children, AIDS, and education.