2018 Fellows

About the Fellows

The Neukom Fellows Program launched in 2012. Fellows have three-year appointments 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 2018 Neukom Fellows with their Ph.D. granting institutions and departmental affiliations are given below, along with descriptions from the Fellows of their research plans.

Ethan Coffel

Geography and Earth Sciences; Mentors- Justin Mankin, Jonathan Winter, and Erich Osterberg

Ethan studies how climate change is affecting extreme weather, and what impacts these changes will have on human societies and natural ecosystems. His tools are climate models, which enable investigation of the behavior of the climate system both in the past and the future. He strives to understand the physical mechanisms driving changes in the climate, and to present climate information and its uncertainty clearly to facilitate adaptation planning. He has a PhD from Columbia University, where he studied extreme heat and its impacts on human health and infrastructure. As a Neukom Fellow, he will develop methods to analyze how increasingly frequent hot and dry conditions will affect global agriculture.

Joseph Dexter

Comparative Literature, Biological Sciences, Computer Science and Classics; Mentors - Michelle Warren, Mark McPeek, Saeed Hassanpour and Margaret Graver

Joseph has broad research interests that span both the humanities and the natural sciences. His main interests in computational biology are the development of mathematical models that capture the collective, systems-level properties of metabolic and signaling networks, and predictive analytics for high-dimensional clinical data. Dexter's humanistic research focuses on quantitative literary criticism, especially as applied to classics and the profound influence of Greek and Latin authors on subsequent culture.

He has a Ph.D. in the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and co-founder and co-director with Pramit Chaudhuri of the Quantitative Criticism Lab. At the Quantitative Criticism Lab he has been working on diverse problems at the intersection of literature, computation, and biology. Particular interests of the group include the development of enhanced computational methods to support literary criticism and intertextual profiling (often drawing on techniques from bioinformatics), elucidation of authorial, generic, and temporal stylistic signatures using machine learning, and cultural evolutionary studies of literature.