Andries Van Dam, professor of computer scienceVan Dam makes a splash on campus every year at the end of the first day of class for his computer science course CSCI 0150: “Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming.” Clothed in the classic garb of characters such as Darth Vader and Albus Dumbledore, Van Dam leads underclassmen and upperclassmen alike to pursue computer science with passion and whimsy. Van Dam has many professional accolades, including as co-designer for the first Hypertext Editing System in the 1960s. He also served as the University’s vice president for research from 2002 to 2006. Van Dam is rumored to be the namesake of the character Andy in the popular Disney franchise “Toy Story.” Many of the films’ creators were Van Dam’s students at Brown.
Photo by Alana Tisdale.
Wendy Schiller, associate professor of political science and public policyStudents interested in American politics have jumped at the chance to enroll in one of the numerous courses taught by Schiller, ranging from the foundational POLS 0010: “Introduction to the American Political Process” to seminars on everything from the presidency to symbolism in American government. Her biggest fans also will spot her off campus on Twitter (@profwschiller) as a commentator on cable news or on shows, such as “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Photo courtesy of Brown University.
Michael Vorenburg, associate professor of historyVorenberg acquired campus-wide fame last year for his scholarly contributions to the making of the Stephen Spielberg film “Lincoln,” but he was already known among historians at Brown for his courses on the Civil War and American history. Photo by Brittany Communale.
Tricia Rose, professor of Africana studiesThere are few professors at Brown who have laid the foundations for entire fields of study, and Tricia Rose is among them. Many consider her book, “Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America” to be the breakthrough work for the now-acclaimed academic study of hip-hop.
Photo by David Braun.
Tracy Breton, visiting professor of EnglishJournalists and non-journalists alike claw tooth and nail to enroll in Breton’s classes — including ENGL 0160: “Journalistic Writing” and ENGL 1160: “Advanced Feature Writing.” Breton covered the court system and legal issues for the Providence Journal for over 40 years, winning the Pulitzer Prize in investigative journalism in 1994 for her exposure of corruption in Rhode Island courts, a story that led multiple high-level justices to resign.
Photo by David Braun.
Robert Serrano, professor of economicsSerrano has been at Brown since 1992 in the Department of Economics teaching a variety of courses from ECON 0110: “Principles of Economics” to ECON 1470: “Bargaining Theory and Applications.” Serrano is famous amongst students, economists and academics in both the United States and his native country, Spain, for his work on economic theory.
Photo by Arjun Narayen.
Robert Self, professor of history American history aficionados at Brown laud Self’s courses, from HIST 1750: “American Politics and Culture since 1945” to HIST 1775: “The Intimate State: the Politics of Gender, Sex and Family in the U.S, 1873-Present.” A recipient of many teaching and research awards from the University and Brown students, Self focuses on the intersection of American politics, civil rights movements and 20th century history. He is also a prolific author who has written several books and articles for magazines and newspapers across the country. Photo courtesy of Robert Self.
Rick Benjamin, adjunct assistant professor of environmental studies and public humanitiesAside from teaching popular courses such as ENVS 0520: “Wild Literature and the Urban Landscape,” Benjamin in January 2013 received the title of State Poet of Rhode Island from Governor Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 P’17. In his literature and humanitarian work, Benjamin is promoting the connection between community building and poetry. Photo by Tom Sullivan.
Stephanie Ravillon, lecturer in French studiesSince joining the Department of French Studies in 2003, Ravillon has taught students at all levels of the spoken and written language, which has garnered her spot among the top 300 professors of 2012 in the Princeton Review. Photo by Brittany Communale.
Leon Cooper, professor of physicsThe name Leon Cooper carries weight far beyond College Hill. Cooper, along with two other contributors, received a Nobel Prize in physics in 1972 for his theory of superconductivity. His research also spawned a scientific namesake — two electrons fused together at low temperatures are known as a Cooper pair, because Cooper was the first scientist to note the phenomenon in 1956. The protagonist of the television sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” Sheldon Cooper, is named for Cooper. Photo by Brittany Comunale.
Ken Miller ’70 P’02, professor of biologyA Brown graduate who has been teaching at his alma mater since 1980, Miller has been winning over the minds of science and pre-med students in his class BIOL 0200: “Foundations of Living Systems.” He has authored multiple textbooks used by Brown students, appeared on television shows such as Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” written many articles in newspapers and journals, lectured at universities across the country and received notable awards and commendations from students, faculty and scientific institutions and societies.
Photo by Brittany Communale.
Joseph Pucci, associate professor of classics and in the program in Medieval studies and associate professor of comparative literature Pucci was rated in 2012 one of the top 300 professors in the United States according to the Princeton Review and has been part of the Brown community for more than 20 years. The author of numerous books, instructor of the renowned class CLAS 1120: “The Idea of Self” and the recipient of many awards from societies, universities and associations in his fields of expertise, Pucci has himself arguably become a classic at Brown. Photo by Tom Sullivan.
John Savage P’88 P’95 P’03 P’05 GP’17, professor of computer science Since coming to Brown in 1967, Savage has helped establish the Department of Computer Science, received multiple awards, been appointed a science fellow in the U.S Department of State and had all four of his children and one grandchild attend Brown. His expertise in computer science — particularly cybersecurity, —has made his classes, such as CSCI 1800: “Cybersecurity and International Relations” and CSCI 0510: “Models of Computation” popular among computer science concentrators and non-concentrators interested in the world of algorithms and computations. Photo by David Braun.
John Donoghue PhD’79 ‘09 P12 MD’16 professor of neuroscienceDonoghue was the founding chair of the Department of Neuroscience, a position he held from 1991 to 2006. But BrainGate is the word most associated with Donoghue in recent months. The brain-to-computer interface recently won a $1 million international prize for the innovative technology’s promise to provide a greater level independence to people with paralysis by the operation of robotic limbs using brainwaves. Donoghue and Arto Nurmikko, professor of engineering, are the project’s two leading researchers. Photo courtesy of Brown University.
Jan Tullis, professor of geologyTullis came to Brown’s Department of Geological Sciences in 1970 and has been mentoring students — particularly women in the sciences through Brown’s Women in Science and Engineering group — as a concentration adviser. Many students have developed a passion for geology after taking her courses GEOL 0220: “Physical Processes in Geology” or GEOL 1450: “Structural Geology.” Her dedication to geology, teaching and her students has garnered her many lifelong fans, numerous awards from the University and a reputation for offering some of the top science courses at Brown. Photo by Tom Sullivan.
Gordon Wood, professor emeritus of historyThe 1993 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Radicalism of the American Revolution” is cited countless times each year as the premiere work on revolution-era American political thought and policy. Politicians, historians and students alike equally celebrate its author, Gordon Wood, who has been teaching at Brown since 1969. His research on American history still contributes to society today through lectures and works related to the Arab Spring and 2013 protests in Egypt. Wood has also acquired fame in popular culture, due to famous scene in the hit movie “Good Will Hunting,” in which the protagonist disparages a Harvard student by saying that he will soon be “regurgitating Gordon Wood” in his studies. Photo by Emily Gilbert.
Donald Hornig (1920- 2013), 14th University President and professor of chemistryIn 1951 Hornig was named a professor of chemistry after only five years at the University, making him one of the youngest ever professors at age 31. After former President Ray Heffner’s controversial resignation just one day after the 1969 adoption of the Open Curriculum, Hornig was chosen to serve as University president in 1970 — the first selection process to which students and faculty contributed input. Though his presidency was also mired with controversy and protest due to his unpopular financial decisions, Hornig left Brown on stronger financial footing in 1976, having reduced the University’s deficit by over 84 percent. Hornig also left a legacy beyond College Hill, serving as a science advisor to U.S. presidents including John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon as well as working on the Manhattan Project. Picture courtesy of Brown University.
Fiery Cushman, assistant professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciencesSpring semesters at Brown see Salomon 101 filled to the brim as close to 400 students flock to hear a professor whom many Brunonians refer to as one of the most engaging lecturers at Brown. With Cushman at the helm of CLPS 0700: “Social Psychology,” enrollment in the class has almost doubled over three years. According to the Critical Review, Cushman’s sense of humor keeps the class engaging, despite the number of students enrolled. The assistant professor is also a leading researcher in the field of moral psychology. To the despair of many undergraduates, Cushman will leave the University after this year to take a position at Harvard, where he completed both his undergraduate and doctoral degrees. Photo courtesy of Kris Krug.
Dwight Sweigart P’05 (1945-2012), professor of chemistrySweigart’s students and colleagues called him “boss.” Starting in 1980, Sweigart taught inorganic chemistry courses at Brown for over 30 years. Sweigart had a reputation for inspiring and mentoring his students. Last July, the chemistry department and the company Strem Chemicals held a symposium in his honor, which drew past students from around the world.
Photo courtesy of Brown University.
Barbara Tannenbaum, senior lecturer in theatre arts and performance studiesFamed in particular for teaching TAPS 0220: “Persuasive Communication,” Tannenbaum has achieved bucket-list status amongst many Brown students, who will join the wait list for her course semesters in advance. Tannenbaum, who joined Brown’s faculty in 1970, has lectured across the country on effective communication and worked on campus to develop support groups, task forces and other kinds of programming to address issues such as sexual assault and racial awareness.
Photo courtesy of Barbara Tannenbaum.
Barrett Hazeltine GP’15, professor emeritus of engineering Over the course of his more than 40 years at Brown, Hazeltine has become a living legend for engineers and non-engineers alike. His courses — particularly ENGN0090: “Management of Industrial and Non-profit Organizations” — have attained bucket-list status for many students because of his reputation as an instructor. After repeatedly receiving recognition from the graduating class for teaching, Hazeltine in 1985 became the namesake for the award, now called the Barrett Hazeltine Citation.
BlogDailyHerald file photo.
Chinua Achebe (1930-2013), University professor of Africana studiesMany Brown students know Achebe’s name even before setting foot on campus. The internationally renowned Nigerian novelist joined the Brown faculty in September 2009 and remained a professor until his death in March 2013. His 1958 novel “Things Fall Apart” received critical acclaim, acquiring required reading status in many literature courses. Photo courtesy of Brown University.
Arnold Weinstein, professor of comparative literatureA legend among literature-inclined students, Weinstein has taught at Brown since 1968. He has received honors on and off College Hill, including a Fulbright professorship in Stockholm and a research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has lectured at both the Brown Bookstore to students and on television to Oprah Winfrey. The courses he has taught include COLT 1420: “The Fiction of Relationship,” COLT 0610: “Rites of Passage” and COLT 0710: “Introduction to Scandinavian Literature.” “The Fiction of Relationship” was also one of three courses the University adapted for its venture into the online education platform Coursera. Photo courtesy of Arnold Weinstein.
James Morone, professor of political scienceAny political science or urban studies concentrator will rave about Morone’s dynamic lecturing style and vivacious personality after being one of the more than 400 students who take his class POLS 0220: “City Politics” every spring. He has written many books about cities and politics, received on multiple occasions the Hazeltine Citation — a recognition from the senior class that honors excellent teaching — and now has a Twitter account for students to follow him whether they are on campus or graduated (@ProfJimMorone). Photo courtesy of Brown University.
Josiah S. Carberry, professor of psychoceramicsPerhaps the most intriguing and elusive of all of the University’s professors, Josiah S. Carberry has yet to be seen on College Hill. Carberry’s persona was created as a joke in 1929, and since then he has pioneered the field of psychoceramics — the study of cracked pots — around the globe. Each Friday the 13th and Feb. 29 is dubbed “Josiah Carberry Day,” on which scheduled lectures at which Carberry is slated to speak do not take place when he fails to attend. The campus eatery Josiah’s, the Carberry sandwich and the online University library catalog, Josiah, are all named for the fictitious professor. Carberry’s wife, Laura, and three children, Lois, Patricia and Zedediah, remain similarly evasive. Herald file photo.