Skip to main content

Six Cornell professors named fellows of AAAS, world's largest science group

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Six members of the Cornell University faculty have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). They are among 291 researchers chosen to receive the prestigious award this year.

The six are Paul L. Houston, the Peter J.W. Debye Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and senior associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences; Donald P. Greenberg, the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Computer Graphics and professor of architecture, computer science and management; Bruce V. Lewenstein, associate professor of science communication; Jeffrey W. Roberts, the Robert J. Appel Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology; Bart Selman, associate professor of computer science; and Quentin D. Wheeler, professor of entomology and director of the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Also named a fellow was Mary Sansalone, vice president for planning and vice provost for academic initiatives at New York University. Until this June, Sansalone was a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow and professor of structural engineering at Cornell.

The six Cornell faculty members were named, in a tradition going back to 1874, for their efforts toward advancing science or fostering applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. They will be presented with an official certificate and a rosette pin at the fellows forum during the 2003 AAAS annual meeting in Denver, Colo., Feb. 15.

Founded in 1848, the AAAS represents the world's largest federation of scientists and has more than 134,000 members from 130 countries.

The AAAS cited Houston for his outstanding contributions to molecular dynamics and spectroscopy, including seminal work on vector correlations, co-invention of the product imaging technique and important applications to iodine, ozone and HCO, the formyl radical that plays important roles in hydrocarbon combustion and atmospheric chemistry. Houston's current research uses tunable lasers that can excite molecules to selected electronic, vibrational and rotational levels. He is studying how photodissociation reactions and bimolecular reactions depend on and produce molecular degrees of freedom such as vibration or rotation. He also is using laser tools to investigate the electronic and optical properties of molecular materials.

The AAAS cited Greenberg for 35 years of outstanding and fundamental contributions to computer graphics. He studies computer graphics techniques as they are applied to a range of disciplines, including architecture, animation, medicine and education. His specialties include realistic image generation, physically based modeling, color science and computer-aided design. At Cornell, where he joined the faculty in 1968, he is director of the Program of Computer Graphics. He was founding director of the NSF Science and Technology Center for Computer Graphics and Scientific Visualization, a five-university consortium, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. In 1987 he received the SIGGRAPH Coon's Award, the premier accolade in computer graphics, for his pioneering work.

The AAAS cited Lewenstein for distinguished scholarly and professional contributions to science and technology studies, particularly for contributions to the public understanding of science and technology. In his research Lewenstein has looked at the history of science journalism and media coverage of science-linked controversies such as cold fusion and biotechnology. Currently he is working on a history of science books since World War II. He also has evaluated science outreach projects that involve members of the public participating in the scientific process by gathering, entering and sometimes analyzing scientific data. He is editor of the journal Public Understanding of Science.

The AAAS cited Roberts for distinguished contributions to the field of molecular biology, particularly for studies on the mechanism of transcription initiation, elongation and antitermination. Roberts studies genetic regulatory proteins called transcription antiterminators, which interfere with the ability of RNA polymerase to recognize "stop" signals in regions of DNA that otherwise prevent regulated genes from being expressed. He co-teaches the class Macromolecular Synthesis. Roberts joined the Cornell faculty in 1974. His previous honors include election to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology.

The AAAS cited Selman for distinguished contributions to artificial intelligence, specifically for advances in knowledge representation, planning and reasoning. His research interests include artificial intelligence, new approaches to solving so-called "hard" computational problems in which a computer must try many combinations of elements, and the connections between computer science and physics. He is the recipient of a NSF Career Award and is an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow. After working as a principal scientist at AT&T Bell Labs, he joined Cornell's computer science faculty in 1997.

The AAAS cited Wheeler for a distinguished record in both research in beetle taxonomy and science administration. Wheeler is jointly appointed as a professor in the Department of Entomology and in Cornell's Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. He is a research associate in the departments of entomology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. His research focuses on beetle taxonomy and morphology, associations of insects with fungi, and the role of taxonomy in studies of biodiversity and conservation. Wheeler joined the Cornell faculty in 1980 and is past president of the Natural Science Collections Alliance and the Coleopterists Society.

Media Contact

Media Relations Office