This fall, five Swarthmore faculty members begin tenure-track appointments across the disciplines this academic year, while eight others embark upon three-year appointments.
Faculty members receiving tenure-track appointments:
Carolyn Bauer, Biology
The research interests of Assistant Professor of Biology Carolyn Bauer include plasticity of different physiological systems over an animal’s lifetime, for which she studies the degu (Octodon degus), a small rodent native to central Chile, as well as the effects of parental separation. As an instructor, Bauer fosters an interactive learning environment, challenging students to examine knowledge in different contexts, recognize and value the scientific process, and appreciate the integrative nature of biology.
Zachary Palmer, Computer Science
Assistant Professor of Computer Science Zachary Palmer, who has been teaching at the College since 2015, explores type theory and program analysis, and their application to software engineering. He primarily focuses on demand-driven approaches to higher-order program analysis. His research interests also include software engineering, compile-time metaprogramming, subtype constraint theory, and related program analyses.
Salvador Rangel, Sociology & Anthropology
The teaching and research interests of Assistant Professor of Sociology Salvador Rangel include class, race, migration and illegality, citizenship, inequality, Marxism and socialism, and social psychology. Among the topics he teaches are transnational migration and the sociology of capitalism. His previous hands-on experience as an undocumented migrant worker animated and informed his doctoral research at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Benjamin Ridgway, Modern Languages & Literatures
Assistant Professor of Chinese Benjamin Ridgway, who has been teaching at the College since 2018, researches classical Chinese poetry, the life and poetry of Su Shi, travel literature, urban space in pre-14th-century literary texts, and word and image relationships in Chinese poetry and painting. A recent project of his centered on how the city of Hangzhou became an imperial capital in the 12th and 13th centuries and the role that literary works played in fixing or contesting this new urban identity.
Suzanne Thornton, Mathematics & Statistics
The research interests of Assistant Professor of Mathematics & Statistics Suzanne Thornton, who began teaching at the College last fall, include computational statistics, confidence distribution, Bayesian statistics, foundations of statistics, statistical computing, statistical inference, and statistical applications. She earned a Ph.D. in statistics and biostatistics from Rutgers University, where she also taught graduate courses and served as a part-time statistical consultant.
Faculty members receiving three-year academic appointments:
Michael Dougherty, Mathematics & Statistics
Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics & Statistics Michael Dougherty’s areas of research include geometric group theory and combinatorics, with particular interest in the braid group and its many appearances throughout mathematics. He has previously held visiting positions at Colby College and Grinnell College, and strongly supports diverse and inclusive mathematics environments, both in the classroom and in his research communities.
Catherine Hsu, Mathematics & Statistics
The research focus of Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics & Statistics Catherine Hsu is algebraic number theory. In particular, she is interested in congruences between modular forms as well as Euclidean ideals and systems. She was most recently a Heilbronn Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, following the completion of her mathematics Ph.D. at the University of Oregon.
Claire Li, Modern Languages & Literatures
The research projects of Visiting Assistant Professor of Chinese Claire Li have consisted of border-crossing studies on distinctive elements of East Asian writing in relation to aesthetics, identity formation, modernization, gender, and environmental issues. Mostly recently, she expanded the scope of her research to include early 20th-century female Asian journalists and activists as examples of women who brought to fruition the potential mobility endowed by their education and historical era.
Vitaly Lorman, Mathematics & Statistics
Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics & Statistics Vitaly Lorman studies algebraic topology. He is particularly interested in computations related to equivariant and chromatic homotopy theory, as well as applications to geometric problems (including the immersion problem for projective spaces and computing cobordism rings). He recently developed an interest in link invariants related to various link homology theories.
Rosanna Picascia, Philosophy
Areas of specialization for Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy Rosanna Picascia include Asian philosophy (especially Indian philosophy), Buddhist philosophy, and philosophy of religion. She has also examined American pragmatism and epistemology. She recently completed her Ph.D. in philosophy of religion at Harvard University, exploring debates on the epistemic status of testimony between Sanskrit philosophers of religion in pre-modern India.
Lucas Van Meter, Mathematics & Statistics
Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics & Statistics Lucas Van Meter’s research interests include algebraic geometry, moduli problems, multiview geometry, computer vision, and SET mathematics. He was most recently a visiting lecturer at Lewis & Clark College, following the completion of his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Washington, where he received an award for excellence in teaching.
Robert Viator, Mathematics & Statistics
The research interests of Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics & Statistics Robert Viator include partial differential equations; spectral theory; perturbation theory; optics, phonics, and electromagnetism; and materials science. He most recently held a three-year visiting position at Southern Methodist University, following the completion of his mathematics Ph.D. at Louisiana State University.
Ben Zinszer, Psychology
Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology Ben Zinszer, who will direct the CONE LAB, explores language learning, bilingualism, and how the brain represents linguistic categories. He uses many behavioral, computational, and neuroimaging methods. These efforts have spanned many collaborating neuroimaging labs (fNIRS, fMRI, EEG), with which Zinszer helped pioneer the latest in multimodal neuroscience and psycholinguistic methods.