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The Neukom Fellows Program launched in 2012. Fellows have two-year appointments with the option for a third year and for their interdisciplinary work which has a computational theme, are co-sponsored and mentored by faculty in at least two departments or programs. Fellows teach one course in each year of their residency. The current Neukom Fellows with their Ph.D. granting institutions and departmental affiliations are given below, along with descriptions from the Fellows of their research plans.
Biology and Psychosocial & Brian Sciences; Mentors- Michael Hoppa, Matt van der Meer, and Geoffrey Luke
Aman is a biomedical engineer interested in bioelectrical phenomena of the nervous system and how electromagnetic fields can be used to modulate neural activity and treat disorders. In his doctoral work, Aman developed multi-scale computational models of the neural response to noninvasive brain stimulation methods, including a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation, which provided mechanistic explanations for experimental observations that were previously not well understood. As a Neukom fellow, Aman will use novel genetic and optical tools to characterize the dynamic molecular and electrical properties of axons and synapses during normal brain function, as well as during stimulation with applied electromagnetic fields.
German Studies; Mentors – Petra McGillen and Jed Dobson
Laura's research combines comparative literary studies, computational text analysis, and cultural history to investigate notions of decadence and the co-development of literary and computational cultures in late nineteenth century Europe. Her doctoral research used a blend of literary close reading and computational text analysis methods in order to develop new approaches to analyzing the prevalent yet problematic concept of decadence in German and Swedish literature and culture at the fin de siècle. Her postdoctoral research builds on this work and investigates how developments in ideas about language and literature intersect with developments in new media and computational thinking at the fin de siècle in Germany and Sweden. In a world that is becoming increasingly digitally and computationally mediated, this comparative literary history of computation aims to contribute historical and interdisciplinary perspectives on the practices we use to record and interpret human experiences.
A core aim of Laura's work is to diversify how computation is conceived and deployed by building interdisciplinary connections at the intersections of modern languages and literatures and digital and computational culture. Her "Computational Comparative Literature" course at Dartmouth, for example, seeks to open up alternative pathways to computational literacy and address the uneven access to computational learning opportunities across linguistic and disciplinary domains.
Mathematics and Sociology; Mentors - Feng Fu and Kimberly Rogers
Olivia Chu's research focuses on the dynamics of behavior, in both human and animal populations, and in particular, the effects that heterogeneous population structures have on these dynamics. Her thesis work focused broadly on group-structured populations and the interplay between human behavior, group memberships, and interactions. Olivia began this work by using a combination of computational simulations and mathematical models from evolutionary game theory and opinion dynamics, but has since incorporated data collection and empirical evidence into her models in collaboration with social scientists from psychology and political science. More recently, Olivia has also begun to study the dynamics of altruism in animal populations as well as the spread of infectious diseases in structured populations.
As a Neukom Fellow, Olivia explores questions relating to: cooperation within and between groups; personality types and their role in social integration; the dynamics of power; the rule of law; puzzling altruistic behavior in animal communities; and how we can take advantage of small-scale, interpersonal interactions to avoid large-scale polarization in an increasingly divided world. By continuing to use a combination of simulations, modeling, and data collection to answer these questions, Olivia aims to gain insight into how we might be able to make our world (or at least our own social networks) more cooperative, kind, and fair.
Philosophy & Computer Science; Mentors: Susan Brison and Andrew Campbell
Jacopo Domenicucci is a philosopher working primarily in Moral Philosophy, the Philosophy of Computing, and Social Philosophy. Jacopo is a specialist of trust — the moral psychology of trust, the virtues around trustworthiness, the philosophical and cultural evolution of the concept, and the impact of pervasive computing on trust models.
At the Neukom Institute, Jacopo focuses on ethics and computing, and specifically on the conceptual ethics of 'AI ethics'. He collaborates with computer scientists and with other philosophers and hopes to improve some of the conceptual resources that underpin the ethical regulation of computing technologies.
Cognitive Science and Computer Science; Mentors - Luke Chang, Jonathan Phillips, Soroush Vosoughi, SouYoung Jin
Dae studies the cognitive mechanisms of emotional intelligence. On one hand, human social cognition shows astounding flexibility and sophistication. On the other hand, it shows dramatic biases and limitations. Dae's work adopts an approach of "analysis by synthesis," building computational models to investigate how people accomplish the remarkable cognitive feats involved in everyday social interactions. He uses probabilistic programs and machine learning to model how social cognition works, when it is effective, and why it fails. By reverse-engineering human social cognition, his work also points towards how we might—and how we should not—build emotionally intelligent machines.
Geography & Biology; Mentors- Justin Mankin, Jonathan Winters, and Matt Ayres
Corey is an environmental scientist interested in climate change and its impacts on people and nature. During his PhD, he studied how weather has affected food crops historically, drawing lessons to help adapt agriculture to a more extreme climate. He also assessed the greenhouse gas emissions likely to result from the climate transition. As a Neukom Fellow, Corey is investigating how rising atmospheric carbon dioxide may change how crops and plants in general interact with climate extremes. In his research, he integrates diverse observational data with biophysical and statistical models. Corey is also an enthusiastic environmental and climate educator.
Anthropology & Geisel Medical School; Mentors – Zane Thayer and Brock Christensen
Luisa studies the transgenerational transmission of trauma and adversity in communities experiencing chronic and acute stressors. Her research focuses on the ways in which historical trauma and structural violence are lived out through caregiving, examining the cultural and biological pathways that may buffer stress and augment resilience in communities of color. As a Neukom scholar, she will work with Dr. Zaneta Thayer and Dr. Brock Christensen to develop novel epigenomic menstruation-based biomarkers with associated computational and analytic techniques as a new methodology for articulating the links between reproductive health and stress.
Biology Sciences and Geography; Mentors: Caitlin Hicks Pries and Justin Mankin
Sophie von Fromm
Sophie is a terrestrial biogeochemist. Her research focuses on the vulnerability of soil organic carbon to climate and land use change. During her PhD, she investigated factors and processes controlling soil organic carbon storage and persistence in Afrotropical soils. She also contributed to the development and maintenance of the International Soil Radiocarbon Database (ISRaD), which allows the study of soil organic carbon persistence at the global scale. As a Neukom Fellow, Sophie is improving the predictive power and accuracy of existing soil models for sub-Saharan Africa. She is passionate about rowing and loves to spend her free time outdoors.