They are tasked with a tall order: Help ensure that a steady stream of passionate problem solvers is available to address the world’s most pressing issues. Five new tenure-track faculty members, whose appointments are effective July 1, have agreed to bring their expertise to Harvey Mudd College and embrace this challenge.
Jim Boerkoel joins the Computer Science Department as an assistant professor after serving as a Harvey Mudd visiting professor last year and after completing a one-year postdoc at MIT. He completed his PhD in computer science and engineering from the University of Michigan in 2012 and received his B.S. in computer science and mathematics from Hope College. His research interests explore the intersection of artificial intelligence and user-centered design, with a focus on human-robot teamwork.
The Department of Engineering welcomes Albert Dato as an assistant professor. Dato received his PhD in applied science and technology in 2009 and his M.S. in mechanical engineering in 2004 from the University of California, Berkeley. His undergraduate work was done at the University of California, Davis. Founder and CEO of Graphene LLC, Dato has worked as a scientist at Air Liquide Electronics U.S. and as a process development engineer at Novellus Systems Inc. His research focuses on the synthesis and applications of nanomaterials.
Hired last year, Matina Donaldson-Matasci joins the Department of Biology as an assistant professor. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Reed College in 1996 and her doctorate in biology from the University of Washington in 2008. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arizona and was a postdoctoral associate at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology during 2008–2009. Donaldson-Matasci focuses on collective behavior in social insects, particularly communication in honey bees and defense in ants.
Julie Medero joins the Computer Science Department as an assistant professor. This August she will receive her PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle, where she also received her master of science. Her undergraduate work was completed at Swarthmore College. Medero’s research interests are in natural language processing, machine learning and educational applications of language technology.
The Computer Science Department also welcomes Katherine (Beth) Trushkowsky as an assistant professor. Trushkowsky will receive her PhD in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, in August. She completed her undergraduate work at Duke University. Her research, with UC Berkeley advisers Michael Franklin and Armando Fox, addresses the use of crowdsourcing to create human/machine systems that aid in answering difficult questions.