Aaron Abrams Aaron Abrams, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, has broad mathematical interests, and his research blends ideas from geometry, topology, algebra, combinatorics, and probability. Some of his recent work focuses on configuration spaces, which are abstract models of the collective motions of several particles, such as packets on a network, molecules in a solution, or cars in a city. He also published an award-winning paper about lotteries in 2010.
Lisa Alty Dr. Lisa Alty, Professor of Chemistry, designs laboratory experiments for biochemistry, organic chemistry, and organic spectroscopic methods laboratory courses. Several of these experiments are published in the Journal of Chemical Education. She teaches Organic Spectroscopic Methods, Medicinal Chemistry, and co-teaches Biochemistry I and Biochemistry I lab with Dr. Fred LaRiviere. She currently serves as Chemistry Department Head and is the Coordinator of the Health Professions Advisory Committee.
Nadia Ayoub Dr. Nadia Ayoub, Assistant Professor of Biology, is an evolutionary biologist with a special interest in spiders. She is currently working on the molecular evolution of spider silks, which have spectacularly diverse properties and functions both within and among species. Recent projects have focused on characterizing silk genes in the black widow spider. Dr. Ayoub will teach Evolution, Genetics, and Molecular Evolution and Genomics.
Bruce Boller Dr. Bruce R. Boller, Visiting Professor of Physics, has worked with magnetohydrodynamic modeling of the interaction between the solar wind and Earth’s magnetic field, coronal mass ejections, Monte Carlo analysis of gamma ray interactions with matter, and numerical solutions of the stellar structure equations. Current interests include modeling and photometry of variable stars.
Michael Bush Dr. Michael Bush, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, works on problems arising from the interaction between algebra and number theory. One particular focus of his work has been to understand the properties and structure of the Galois groups associated to certain extensions of number fields that arise in modern algebraic number theory. He is also interested in computational questions connected with the objects he studies and has made extensive use of various symbolic algebra packages to formulate and test conjectures. He has taught many courses at the undergraduate level but particularly enjoys topics with a discrete or algebraic flavor. He also enjoys getting students actively involved in mathematical problem solving and research at a range of levels.
Paul Cabe Dr. Paul Cabe, Professor of Biology, works in the area of molecular ecology, using DNA-based data sets to address questions of gene flow, genetic structure, behavior, and history of populations. Recent projects include cloning and developing microsatellite loci for a variety of species, terrestrial salamander dispersal and behavior, and estimating diversity of soil bacterial communities. He teaches Fundamentals of Biology, Genetics, Modern Genetic Analysis, Conservation Genetics, Advanced Genetics Lab, and Ornithology.
Chistopher Connors Dr. Christopher Connors, the William E. Pritchard III '80 Professor of Geology, has research interests in structural geology and geophysics, specifically forward and inverse numerical modeling of fault-related folding, seismic interpretation of complex structures, and the development of growth strata associated with fault-related folding. Dr. Connors teaches Introductory Geology, Planetary Geology, Field Methods, Introductory Geophysics, Structural Geology, Petroleum Geology and Geophysics, and Regional Geology.
Elizabeth Cumming Ms Elizabeth "Libby" Cumming, Instructor of Physics and Engineering, received her Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Brown University in 1984. She has worked in industry as a research engineer, and has taught physics and math in many settings. Her research interests are in physics education as well as lasers, laser applications and optics.
Steven Desjardins Dr. Steven Desjardins, Professor of Chemistry, is a theoretical physical chemist whose current area of study is the dynamics of biochemical systems. Dr. Desjardins’ previous work has included experimental kinetics of polymers , molecular dynamics simulation of biomolecules, and the fractal structure of bacterial colonies. Dr. Desjardins teaches courses in physical and general chemistry, a non-major course in nonlinear dynamics, and a seminar in the history of medicine.
Gregory Dresden Dr. Gregory Dresden, Professor of Mathematics, works in the areas of number theory and abstract algebra. Some of his recent
papers cover topics (such as transcendental numbers, cyclotomic polynomials, and the Fibonacci sequence) that are accessible to undergraduates. His latest article discusses a new proof of the
formula for the resultant of cyclotomic polynomials. Professor Dresden also teaches actuary courses at W&L to prepare students for the actuary exams, as well as a cryptography and number theory
course which involves a field trip to the NSA in Washington DC.
Wayne Dymacek Dr. Wayne Dymacek, Professor of Mathematics, continues to work in various areas of combinatorics. Recently, with two students, he has counted the number of permutations with arithmetic progressions and investigated the realizability of (kappa,lambda,delta,Delta)-graphs. He also continues his work on Steinhaus graphs.
Jonathan Erickson Dr. Jonathan Erickson, Assistant Professor of Physics and Engineering, investigates plasticity and information processing in cultured neural networks, working with faculty and students not only in engineering but also in biology and the neuroscience program.
Michael Evans Dr. Michael Evans, Lillian and Rupert Radford Professor of Mathematics Emertius, has returned to W&L as a Visiting Professor for the 2012-13 academic year. He will be teaching courses in Real Analysis and Calculus. He maintains an active research program, presently exploring algorithmic means of approximating and characterizing various classes of functions of one or several real variables.
Nathan Feldman Dr. Nathan Feldman, Lillian and Rupert Radford Professor of Mathematics, studies the dynamics of linear operators in infinite dimensional Hilbert spaces, which involves the chaotic behavior of infinite matrices and lies at the crossroads of analysis and infinite dimensional linear algebra. Professor Feldman regularly teaches calculus, statistics, linear algebra, differential equations, and analysis courses.
Carrie Finch Dr. Carrie Finch, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, conducts research in Number Theory. She has recently determined the irreducibility of particular weighted sums of polynomials that have only cyclotomic factors, and is currently investigating consecutive integers that are simultaneously Sierpinski numbers and Riesel numbers.
Marcia B. France Dr. Marcia B. France, the John T. Herwick, M.D. Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of the College, does research in asymmetric organic methodology. She is currently investigating the synthesis of chiral phosphorus, nitrogen ligands for applications in asymmetric catalysis. Dr. France teaches Organic Chemistry I and II, Organic Chemistry Laboratory I and II, Advanced Organic Chemistry, and the Science of Cooking. She also oversees the Organic Chemistry course in Scotland, offered through the St Andrews-W&L Partnership.
Megan Fulcher Dr. Megan Fulcher, Associate Professor of Psychology, studies children's socio-emotional development and children's gender role development. She is currently studying the development of children in non-traditional families.
Lisa Greer Dr. Lisa Greer, Associate Professor of Geology, studies records of past climate and environmental change using coral growth rates and the carbonate geochemistry of coral skeletons. She is interested in patterns and trends in ocean conditions and coral growth with time. She teaches Introductory Geology, Global Climate Change, Oceanography, Historical Geology, and Sedimentation and Stratigraphy.
Bill Hamilton Dr. Bill Hamilton, Associate Professor of Biology, is studying physiological plant ecology, focusing on adaptation to environmental stress, the relationships of those adaptations to community structure, and the physiological and growth responses to herbivory. He teaches Fundamentals of Biology, Atmospheric Science from the ground up, Plant Biology, Medicinal Botany, Chemical Ecology, Plant Functional Ecology and Experimental Botany: Global Climate Change.
David Harbor Dr. David Harbor, Professor of Geology, teaches Introductory Geology, Geomorphology and GIS. His science interest centers on the form and processes of our landscapes, particularly those created by rivers on old continental margins. He uses profile models, GIS, and field methods like balloon aerial photography and soil analyses to evaluate the erosion history of incised rivers and investigate the processes of erosion in bedrock rivers.
Paul Humke Dr. Paul Humke, Visiting Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, is a real analyst whose current research includes investigating interpolating approximations, dynamical systems and the geometry of attractors. He is the North American Director of the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Program and Editor-in-Chief of the research journal, Real Analysis Exchange. He teaches a wide range of courses at W&L including calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics and real analysis.
Robert Humston Dr. Robert Humston, Associate Professor of Biology, studies the ecology and management of fish populations, with an emphasis on recreational fisheries. He is interested in the spatial dynamics of fisheries and aquatic ecosystems in general, and how these can be accounted for in fisheries management. He teaches Fundamentals of Biology, Aquatic Ecology, Environmental Studies, and a Stream Restoration Ecology Seminar.
Larry Hurd Dr. Larry Hurd is the John T. Herwick, MD Professor of Biology. He studies the role of predators in tropical ecosystems, population dynamics of arthropod predators, adaptive strategies of praying mantids, and arthropod succession in restored habitats. He teaches Fundamentals of Biology, Conservation Ecology, Ecology, Biological Diversity, Zoology.
Helen I'Anson Dr. Helen I’Anson, Professor of Biology, is investigating the Neurobiology of Puberty by determining the role metabolic signals and sensors within the brain that transmit to the hypothalamus (the region of the brain that controls puberty). She teaches Fundamentals of Biology, Reproductive Physiology, Integrative Sciences; Cardiovascular Disease, Mammalian Reproductive Seminar, Microanatomy, Animal Physiology and Neuroendocrinology .
Dan Johnson Dan Johnson, Assistant Professor of Psychology, is interested in how processes of emotion regulation are integrated with unconscious and conscious facets of attention, memory, and executive control in the service of successful emotion regulation or as contributors to psychopathology. A better understanding of these emotion regulation mechanisms could lead to the development of training techniques for more effective emotion regulation and intervention techniques for those who are clinically anxious or depressed.
Joel Kuehner Dr. Joel Kuehner, Associate Professor of Physics and Engineering, is an experimentalist studying gas dynamics and laser diagnostics. Ongoing experiments involve the use of aero-optical techniques to measure density fluctuations, and laser measurements of temperature.
Kenneth Lambert Dr. Kenneth Lambert, Professor of Computer Science, is the author of introductory programming textbooks in C++, Smalltalk, Java, and Python. His research interests include programming language design, software development, user interface design, and aesthetics.
Fred LaRiviere Dr. Fred LaRiviere, Associate Professor of Chemistry, is studying mechanisms of eukaryotic ribosome assembly and ribosomal RNA degradation. Currently, he and his lab are identifying regions of ribosomal RNA required for ribosome stability as well as determining the trans-acting factors involved in a novel ribosome quality control pathway, non-functional ribosomal RNA decay. Dr. LaRiviere teaches Biochemistry I and II, Biochemistry Laboratory I and II, Advanced Biochemistry, and Spring into Science: Developing Science Outreach Activities for Local Schools.
Simon Levy Dr. Simon Levy, Associate Professor of Computer Science, pursues novel, biologically-inspired approaches to difficult problems in language,
robotics, and cognition. Professor Levy teaches courses on scientific computing, artificial intelligence / robotics, computational modeling, and the theory of computation.
Tyler Lorig Dr. Tyler Lorig, the Ruth Parmly Professor of Psychology and Chair of Neuroscience, focuses on understanding the neurophysiological basis of cognition and its evolution. The primitive nature of the olfactory system provides an interesting avenue to this topic. Most of his research involves recording human brain electrical activity as subjects detect or label odors. He has strong interests in the analysis and visualization of brain activity.
Heather Mallory Dr. Heather Mallory, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology, studies how an animal's experiences affect behavior and the underlying neuronal mechanisms controlling behavior, using insects as model organisms. Recent projects include examining brain plasticity in adult crickets and the foraging behavior of praying mantises. She teaches Animal Behavior, Sensory Ecology, Plant-Insect Interactions, and Invertebrate Zoology.
David Marsh Dr. David Marsh, Professor of Biology, focuses on the conservation biology of amphibians, particularly salamanders in the Southern Appalachians. Current projects are examining the effects of environmental changes such as logging and climate change on several species of rare, mountaintop salamanders in the Blue Ridge of Virginia. Students in the lab use a variety of research tools to advance our knowledge of amphibian ecology, including field surveys, population genetics, and computer modeling.
Dan Mazilu Dr. Dan Mazilu, Assistant Professor of Physics, focuses on techniques of producing highly reliable, cost-effective antireflection coatings using self-assembled nanoparticle monolayers. Antireflection coatings play a critical role in many fields, from low-tech eyeglasses and windows to high technology night vision goggles and opto-electronic devices.
Irina Mazilu Dr. Irina Mazilu, Associate Professor of Physics, is a theoretical physicist studying the statistical mechanics of non-equilibrium systems and Monte Carlo simulations of spin systems.
Alan McRae Dr. Alan McRae, Professor of Mathematics, is currently investigating spacetime geometries as well as geometric probability. He has taught the following courses at W&L: Single and Multivariable Calculus, Introduction to Statistics, Special Topics in Contemporary Mathematics (Games & Gambling, History of Geometry, Paradoxes in Mathematics), Natural Science Seminar (Time Machines), Linear Algebra, Vector Analysis, Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics, Classical Geometry, Geometric Topology, Modern Geometry (Differential Geometry, Catastrophe Theory, Finite Geometry, Black Holes), and Directed Individual Study (History of Geometry, Mathematical Biology, Algebraic Geometry).
Judith Muir Judith K. Muir, visiting professor of Biology, studies the cellular and molecular response following traumatic brain injury and stroke. Of particular interest are the beneficial or detrimental roles of astrocytes in modulating neuronal cell death and neurosteroids that modulate glutamate-mediated neuronal injury.
Karla Murdock Dr. Karla Murdock, Associate Professor of Psychology, studies children's psychosocial resilience when they are facing conditions of stress (e.g., poverty, chronic illness). Her research focuses on risk and protective factors at all levels of children's social ecologies, such as community characteristics, family processes, and individual attributes. Recent interests focus on gender-specific pathways of mental health and psychopathology during the transition through puberty.
Mike Pleva Dr. Michael A. Pleva, the Robert Lee Telford Professor of Chemistry, has been at Washington and Lee since September, 1969. He is currently Professor of Chemistry, having retired from the position of Department Chair in favor of new capable leadership. His academic interests include his professional training in analytical chemistry, along with many years experience in the General Chemistry sequence, both for majors and non-majors. His most recent professional interest is in Nonlinear Dynamics (Deterministic Chaos), an area which has been developed through the richness of the academic curriculum at W&L. Non-academic interests include music and Causes Designed to Raise Blood Pressure and General Frustration (such as his tennis game and the Boston Red Sox).
Dr. Jeffrey Rahl Dr. Jeffrey Rahl, Associate Professor of Geology, researches tectonics, including the processes that control the formation, growth, and erosion of mountain belts. A particular objective is to develop and apply techniques to constrain the long-term (million-year timescale) erosional history of mountains through the study of age and thermal information stored in sedimentary rocks. Current projects are set in the Spanish Pyrenees and the Colorado Front Range. Rahl teaches Introductory Geology, Tectonics, Earth Materials, and the History of Geology.
Maryanne Simurda Dr. Maryanne Simurda, Professor of Biology, is currently investigating Serratia marcescens, a bacteria that is an opportunistic pathogen. She is studying the effects of temperature on biofilm formation by the bacterium. She teaches Fundamental of Biology, Parasitology, Microbiology, Immunology and Virology.
Sara Sprenkle Dr. Sara Sprenkle, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, focuses on automatically testing Web applications, including cost-effective
approaches to generating test cases and determining that the application
is behaving appropriately. Professor Sprenkle teaches courses on
software development, algorithms, and web applications.
Bob Stewart Dr. Robert Stewart, Associate Professor of Psychology, studies the structure and function of the mammalian gustatory system. His current research focuses on salty, sweet, and bitter taste development. More recent interests include the development and plasticity of taste axon termination patterns in the nucleus of the solitary tract. The ultimate goal of this work is to integrate cell-level information into systems-level models of gustatory development and plasticity.
Joshua Stough Dr. Joshua Stough, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, looks to create and improve image analysis tools for use in medical imaging applications, computer vision, and the natural sciences. While his research focuses on the automatic segmentation of anatomical structures in medical images (such as the bladder and prostate in CT), this work is highly interdisciplinary and has applications to a broad range of fields, including biology and physics. Dr. Stough teaches courses on image processing, computer vision, and artificial intelligence/machine learning.
David Sukow Dr. David Sukow, Associate Professor of Physics, does experimental work in laser dynamics involving chaos control and chaos synchronization in semiconductor lasers. Current projects include the creation of high-speed optical squarewaves, with potential applications to atomic clocks and optical digital logic.
Natalia Toporikova Dr. Natalia Toporikova, Assistant Professor of Biology, uses computational methods to study a wide range of biological systems. Her recent projects include neural control of breathing, pregnancy initiation in rats and signal detection by electric fish.
Erich Uffelman Dr. Erich Uffelman, the Cincinnati Endowed Professor of Chemistry, runs an undergraduate research group that investigates high-valent first row transition metal complexes and that particularly focuses on polyamide macrocyclic iron complexes as catalysts in Green Chemistry. Dr. Uffelman also researches the output of major museums involving the technical examination of 17th century Dutch paintings. Dr. Uffelman teaches General Chemistry I, Inorganic Chemistry, Bioinorganic Chemistry, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, and courses on the technical examination of 17th century Dutch painting. Periodically, Dr. Uffelman takes students to The Netherlands for his Dutch art courses.
Fiona Watson Dr. Fiona Watson, Assistant Professor of Biology, is interested in studying how the central nervous system is connected. Specifically, she is interested in how glial cell development influences the size and formation of a neuron’s dendritic and axonal arbors. She is currently using the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, as a model system. She teaches Animal Development, Cell Biology, and Imaging in the Neurosciences.
Wythe Whiting Dr. Wythe Whiting, Associate Professor of Psychology, studies the changes in cognitive functioning as part of the normal aging process. He is particularly interested in how memory, selective attention, and divided attention change with advancing age.
Gregg Whitworth Dr. Gregg Whitworth, Assistant Professor of Biology, is interested in understanding the ways in which gene expression in eukaryotes can be regulated post-transcriptionally. Currently, his laboratory is focused on two projects: the first is aimed at elucidating the pathways through which environmental signals induce alterations in the patterns of pre-mRNA splicing; the second seeks to explain the ways in which post-transcriptional mRNA processing can affect the regulation of apoptosis, a programmed-cell death pathway important for understanding both cancer and development in humans.
Julie Woodzicka Dr. Julie Woodzicka, Professor of Psychology, studies issues of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Specifically, she is interested in how targets of prejudice (e.g., women, African-Americans) are affected by everyday instances of unfair treatment. Other areas of interest include the nonverbal communication of emotion and the measurement of white privilege.