December 1, 2009
Three faculty members have received awards for their research projects or initiatives recently. The math department’s Rob Benedetto and law jurisprudence and social thought’s Austin Sarat were each given single grants in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, while neuroscience’s J.P. Baird received two grants totaling $142,000.
Benedetto was awarded $151,059 from the National Science Foundation to study mathematical problems that involve both dynamical systems and number theory. He plans to use the funding to explore the conjectural upper bounds for the number rational preperiodic points, and conjectural lower bounds for the values of canonical height functions.
Sarat received $167,979 from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The money will enable him to hold a seminar next summer for 16 school teachers exploring punishment and its place in American culture. The gathering will be the tenth such event that Sarat has coordinated.
Baird’s two grants were from the National Institutes of Health through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The first will allow the continued support of a lab technician to assist him with his research on how feeding and metabolic disorders (such as obesity, anorexia and gastric reflux disease) can be treated medically by affecting the neural systems that control feeding; the second will pay for several new pieces of equipment, including a new digital microscope, a cryostat to prepare brain tissue for microscope slides and a stereotaxic device to allow for precise brain injections.
“It’s very gratifying to have my research recognized in this way,” said Baird, who has received several federal grants during his career. “In addition to enabling me to continue my studies of the brain, this funding will allow the department to replace several outdated pieces of lab equipment. But more importantly, this will help the neuroscience program keep pace with the rapid technological developments in the neuroscience field. It’s good news for everyone involved.”