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Eight Distinguished UCSB Faculty Members Named AAAS Fellows

Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 16:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Eight UC Santa Barbara faculty members have been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. This is the third consecutive year that eight UCSB faculty members have been named AAAS Fellows.

"I am honored and delighted to join with our campus community in congratulating our eight faculty colleagues on their election this year as AAAS Fellows," said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "This is a prestigious honor and testament to their achievements and leadership in advancing scientific research in their individual disciplines, as well as a reflection of the outstanding research being conducted on our campus. To date, 85 of our faculty colleagues have been distinguished as AAAS Fellows. Our campus shares great pride in this meaningful recognition."

The newly elected members from UCSB are:

Douglas Burbank, professor and chair of the Department of Earth Science, for distinguished contributions to the fields of tectonic geomorphology, and the study of landscape-climate interactions.

Amr El Abbadi, professor in the Department of Computer Science, for distinguished contributions to the field of distributed data management and systems.

Jacob Israelachvili, professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, for distinguished contributions to the fields of intermolecular forces and surface science, experimentally resolving roles of these forces in self-assembly, adhesion, friction, lubrication and wear.

David Lea, professor in the Department of Earth Science, for major contributions to the understanding of global climate change in the past, especially in tropical regions, and for science service of great societal relevance.

R. Daniel Little, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, for insightful contributions, discoveries, and developments within the field of organic electrochemistry.

Samir Mitragotri, professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, for distinguished contributions to the science and technology of drug delivery, particularly needle-free methods of administering biologics and for academic leadership in bioengineering.

Melvin Oliver, the SAGE Sara Miller McCune Dean of Social Sciences and Executive Dean of the College of Letters and Science, for distinguished contributions to the scholarly foundations and development of the asset-building field in social policy through stellar administrative leadership in philanthropy and higher education.

Joseph Polchinski, professor in the Department of Physics and a permanent member of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, for distinguished contributions to quantum field theory and string theory, in particular the discovery of D-branes and their properties.

Pierre Wiltzius, UCSB's Susan and Bruce Worster Dean of Science and professor of physics, commented: "I note with great pride that four of the eight new AAAS Fellows are faculty in the Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences in the Departments of Earth Science, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Physics. This well-deserved recognition by peers highlights the extraordinary caliber of our faculty."

AAAS has awarded the distinction of Fellow to 702 of its members this year. These individuals have been elevated to this rank because of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, February 16, 2013, at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Mass.

The 2012 AAAS Fellows will be announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the November 30, 2012, issue of the journal Science.

AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal Science (www.sciencemag.org), as well as Science Translational Medicine (www.sciencetranslationalmedicine.org), and Science Signaling (www.sciencesignaling.org).