Harvey Mudd Welcomes New Faculty, 2019

Beginning July 1, 2019, Harvey Mudd College will welcome four new faculty members, two of them alumni. Searches in engineering and computer science resulted in the hiring of these teacher/scholars to tenure-track appointments.

Department of Engineering

Joshua BrakeJoshua Brake, assistant professor, earned his PhD in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. His doctoral research is focused on developing new tools to see deep into scattering media like biological tissue and applying these tools to biomedical challenges in the life sciences and neuroscience. Brake intends to focus his post-doctoral research on optical technologies to probe and measure brain activity and is collaborating with Kernel, a startup company developing a non-invasive, mind/body/machine interface (MBMI) to improve and expand human cognition.

Steven SantanaSteven Santana ’06 (engineering/Spanish) assistant professor, joins the faculty after his 2018–2019 visiting position at HMC. He earned his master’s in education from Loyola Marymount University and his doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University. As a doctoral researcher, he examined the use of microfluidics to isolate and study cancer biomarkers and design microfluidic devices for this purpose. At Harvey Mudd, Santana designed and taught a new course on microfluidics and nanofluidics and has established a microfluidics research program.

Computer Science Department

Xanda SchofieldXanda Schofield ’13 (computer science and mathematics) assistant professor, earned a PhD in computer science from Cornell University in May. She has been a research intern at Microsoft Research and a lecturer and mentor at Cornell. Her specialty is designing easy-to-use tools for large-scale corpus text mining, with a focus on distributional semantic models.

Erin TalvitieErin Talvitie, associate professor, most recently taught at Franklin & Marshall College (2010–2019). Talvitie, who holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Michigan, applies machine learning to artificial intelligence, working to create artificial autonomous agents that can act flexibly and competently in unknown environments.