Faculty-led Scholarship in Climate, Environment, and Sustainability Fields
Faculty featured here have identified themselves as engaged in scholarship areas that intersect Hixon Center goals, such as clean energy generation, air pollution chemistry, and urban bicycle infrastructure. The diverse focus areas shown here illustrate that climate and environmental solutions come from every angle, modeling for students how their own passions and interests might intersect with a career in climate or sustainability.
Lelia Hawkins, Chemistry
Professor Hawkins’ research sits at the intersection of air pollution and climate change, with am emphasis is measurement of the chemistry and physical properties of particulate matter. Recent projects include measurements of air pollution in Claremont and in Paris, France with aerosol mass spectrometry. In addition, students working with Professor Hawkins often design laboratory studies to simulate a particular process in the atmosphere, such as the reaction of air pollution in clouds. Students from all majors are welcome to participate in research.
Sarah Kavassalis, Chemistry
Dr. Kavassalis’s research at Mudd is centered around building interdisciplinary, computational tools to improve our ability to simulate Earth’s atmosphere or communicate findings from those simulations. Our big project right now is focused on determining the applicability and limitations of machine learning for air quality prediction. Additional group projects include building cellular automata to simulate atmospheric chemical reactions, improving scientific figures by using computational saliency algorithms, and using language models to identify what features of scientific papers make them more likely to get cited by policy makers.
Hal Van Ryswyk, Chemistry
We are interested in low-cost photovoltaics, devices that convert sunlight to electricity using material cheaper than silicon. Current examples include dye-sensitized solar cells and colloidal quantum dot solar cells. We do a little of it all — design, synthesis, and characterization using the tools of chemistry, physics, and materials science.
Weiqing Gu, Mathematics
I love to work with my students by applying machine learning and big data analysis to solve real world problems. Machine Learning on Minimizing Irrigation Water for Lawns was published with a former student, Zhaocheng Yi.
Chris Clark, Engineering
For the last decade, researchers in the Lab for Autonomous and Intelligent Robotics have been studying and modeling the motion behaviors of fish and sharks, as well as the habitats they reside in, via autonomous robot systems. Most recently, our team collaborated with CSU Long Beach and the University of Costa Rica to study Nurse sharks and Sea turtles along the coast of Costa Rica.
Paul Steinberg, HSA
Paul Steinberg is Professor of Political Science and Environmental Policy at Harvey Mudd College, where he directs The Social Rules Project. Courses include comparative environmental politics, global environmental politics, tropical forests, and Bicycle Revolution.