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Last modified: Friday, August 18, 2006

IU's McRobbie highlights new professorial hires

August 18, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS -- Michael A. McRobbie, IU interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, highlighted to the Indiana University Board of Trustees today (Aug. 18) four particularly distinguished professors who are among new appointees to the Bloomington faculty.

Michael A. McRobbie

Print-Quality Photo

McRobbie singled out the four as continuing examples of the Bloomington campus' efforts to recruit scholars and researchers who are recognized as being at the top of their field, both nationally and internationally. He said the university was very fortunate to have attracted them to Indiana.

"We are absolutely dedicated to improving the already high level of teaching, research and scholarship at Indiana University," McRobbie said. "These appointments are tangible evidence of our commitment to this goal, and I am delighted to welcome these scholars to IU."

The scholars were among nine tenured appointments to the IU Bloomington faculty approved by trustees.

David Zaret, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said the four senior scholars were attracted to the Bloomington campus by its atmosphere of scholarship and research.

"Outstanding research and teaching activities are the principal magnets that attract eminent senior faculty to IU," Zaret said. "Recruitment of these four colleagues shows how excellence builds on excellence."

In his comments to trustees, McRobbie provided the following information about each of the new faculty members:

  • Vladimir Touraev was appointed Boucher Professor in the Department of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is the department's first named professor. He completed his doctorates in mathematics and in physical and mathematical sciences in the famous Steklov Institute in Moscow. Since 1990, he has been director of research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France's largest and most prominent public research organization. His research interests include low-dimensional topology, quantum topology, knot theory and interactions with mathematical physics -- fields in which he is a leading authority. He is prolific, his work is highly cited and he has received many honors, including the CRNS Silver Medal and an invited address at the prestigious International Congress of Mathematicians.
  • Christoph Irmscher was appointed as a professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences. He received his doctorate in English in 1991 and a post-doctoral degree in American Studies in 1998 from the University of Bonn, Germany, and before coming to IU was chair of the Department of English at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is a major European scholar on American literature. His specialties include 19th century American literature and culture, and natural history writing. Irmscher is the author of Longfellow Redux (2006), The Poetics of Natural History: From John Bartram to William James (1999), and Masken der Moderne: Literarische Selbstilisierung bei T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, und William Carlos Williams (1992). He selected and edited the Library of America volume of John James Audubon's Writings and Drawings (1999). He has held numerous fellowships and grants, most recently a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in 2005-2006, is curating Harvard's special library exhibit celebrating the bicentennial of Longfellow's birth and was a consultant and commentator for the forthcoming PBS documentary on Audubon.
  • Michael Martin was appointed professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies, and director of the Black Film Center/Archives in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a renowned scholar of African American film. He holds a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a master's degree from Columbia University, and a bachelor's degree from City College, City University of New York. He is the former chair of Ethnic Studies at Bowling Green State University. He is the author and editor of several major works: New Latin American Cinema (1997); Theory, Practices, and Transcontinental Articulations (1997); Studies of National Cinemas (1997); Cinemas of the Black Diaspora: Diversity, Dependence, and Oppositionality (1995); and Studies of Development and Change in the Modern World (1989). He has authored numerous articles that appear in refereed journals and has worked himself in film making.
  • Michael Trosset was appointed a professor of statistics and director of the Indiana Statistical Consulting Center in the College of Arts and Sciences. Establishing a major academic presence in statistics at IU Bloomington has been a major objective of the Commitment to Excellence program. He received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Rice University and a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of California, Berkeley. He has held faculty positions at Rice University, the University of Arizona and the College of William and Mary, and has worked as a statistical consultant. Trosset is a prominent member of the computational statistics community. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, the Journal of Multivariate Analysis, and Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, and he is also the 2006 program chair for ASA's Section on Statistical Computing. Trosset's research interests include methods for embedding dissimilarity data, dimension reduction, classification and clustering.

Also appointed to Bloomington faculty positions were:

  • Judah M. Cohen to the Louis and Sybil Mervis Chair in the Jewish Studies Program, College of Arts and Sciences, assistant professor of folklore and ethnomusicology and assistant professor of Jewish studies.
  • Shu Tian Cole as associate professor of recreation and park administration in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
  • John B. Hill as associate librarian and director of public services in the Herman B Wells Library.
  • Donna M. Nagy as C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law in the School of Law.
  • Luiz Pessoa as associate professor of psychological and brain sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.