New Faculty Members: Latha Venkataraman and Matias Courdurier

The Department is pleased to welcome two new faculty members: Latha Venkataraman, the new Assistant Professor of Applied Physics, and Matias Courdurier, the new Chu Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics.

Latha Venkataraman: Assistant Professor of Applied Physics

Prof. Venkataraman’s research involves exploring the electronic transport and mechanical properties of materials on the nanometer scale. The motivation to study the properties of materials at this scale is based partly on the developments in the integrated circuit industry. The size of components has been dropping rapidly over the past few decades, following a trend originally identified by Gordon Moore. In recent decades, developments in nanotechnology, including the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope and other scanned probe techniques, have enabled the study of materials in these previously inaccessible length scales. Venkataraman says, “My research will use these tools to study the electronic and mechanical properties of single molecules and novel nanowire materials”.

Prof. Venkataraman received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University, where she also received an Applied Physics Fellowship and the White Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Following her doctorate, she spent three years at Vytran Corporation as a research scientist, developing new technologies for fusion splicing of optical fibers.

Prior to joining SEAS faculty, Prof. Venkataraman was a research scientist and executive committee member at Columbia’s Nanoscience and Engineering Center.

Matias Courdurier: Chu Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics

Prof. Courdurier received his Ph.D. in Mathematics, in 2007, from the Mathematics Department at the University of Washington, under the supervision of Prof. Gunther Uhlmann. His work focused on the study of the X- ray transform and the Radon transform under truncations. The study of this inverse problem is of particular interest for the medical imaging techniques of Computerized Tomography (CT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT). The improvement of such imaging techniques is heavily relat- ed to a better understanding of the mathematical elements that appear in the model. Courdurier collaborates in such research with professors from universities in the U.S., Belgium and Japan.

He completed his undergraduate studies with the professional degree of Mathematical Engineer in 2001 in the Mathematical Engineering Department of Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile. He received the 2002 Marco Orrego Puelma Award for the best engineer of Univer- sidad de Chile graduating in 2001. During his Ph.D. studies at the University of Washington he received a Microsoft Scholarship (2002), an Academic Excellence Award (2003) and the McFarlan Fellowship Award (2005).

The Chu Assistant Professorship is a non-tenure 2-year position. During his first semester in the APAM Department, he will be teaching a class in Applied Functional Analysis, APMA E4150, for beginning Ph.D. students or senior undergraduate students with interest in the mathematical area of analysis and its applications.

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