Thirteen UChicago faculty members receive named, distinguished service professorships

Thirteen University of Chicago faculty members have received named professorships or were appointed distinguished service professors. László Babai, Joy Bergelson and Anil Kashyap received distinguished service professorships while Eric Budish, Ronald Burt, Christopher Faraone, Nick Feamster, Zhiguo He, Boaz Keysar, Catriona MacLeod, Brent Neiman, Haresh Sapra and Azeem Shaikh received named professorships.

Biological Sciences Division

Joy Bergelson has been named the James D. Watson Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution and the College.

Research in her lab is best known for dispelling the long-held belief that arms-race dynamics typify the evolution of plant resistance to microbial pathogens in nature. An early researcher on the plant Arabidopsis thaliana​, particularly from an evolutionary and ecological perspective, Bergelson with her group completed the first experiments using genetically manipulated plants to disentangle the mechanisms driving observed evolutionary dynamics. They also have pioneered research at the interface of ecology and evolution, namely eco-evolutionary dynamics.

Through her international collaborations, Bergelson has been instrumental in developing genome-wide association mapping in Arabidopsis, providing resources to the community and ultimately leading to the 1001 Genomes project. She has received numerous awards; she is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of Association for the Advancement of Science, a Packard Fellow, a Marshall Fellow, a Presidential Faculty Fellow and a Cheung Kong Scholar Honorary Professor.​

The College

Catriona MacLeod has been named the Frank Curtis Springer and Gertrude Melcher Springer Professor in the Department of Germanic Studies and the College.

Studying 18th- and 19th-century German literature, aesthetics and culture, MacLeod focuses on word and image studies and material culture in the context of German Classicism and Romanticism.

In 2018, MacLeod was awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies to support her current book project Romantic Scraps: Cutouts, Collages and Inkblots, which explores the proliferation of paper cuts, collage, decoupage and inkblots in German and Danish Romanticism. She was awarded the Jean-Pierre Barricelli prize for best book in Romanticism studies for her 2014 book Fugitive Objects: Literature and Sculpture in the German Nineteenth Century, which examines the question of why sculpture is both intensively discussed and yet rendered immaterial in German literature.

In January 2019, MacLeod became president of the Goethe Society of North America, and she has been the senior editor of the journal Word & Image since 2011.

Boaz Keysar has been named the William Benton Professor in the Department of Psychology and the College.

Keysar’s research focuses on the relationship between decision-making and the use of language. Many of his discoveries reveal systematic reasons for miscommunication and misunderstandings. Keysar and his students also discovered that using a foreign language systematically affects decision-making and moral choice. He recently co-authored a paper that suggests people are more honest when speaking a non-native language.

Keysar’s research has been supported by research grants from federal agencies and private foundations such as the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation. He has been awarded the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship and a Fulbright scholarship, and he received the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from UChicago in 2018.

Humanities Division

Christopher A. Faraone has been named the Edward Olson Professor in the Department of Classics and the College.

A UChicago faculty member since 1991, Faraone focuses his research on ancient Greek poetry, religion and magic—topics about which he has spoken and published extensively. His latest book, The Transformation of Greek Amulets in Roman Imperial Times, was described by one reviewer as “elegantly produced” and “seminal for future study.” He currently has multiple book projects in progress, including one that analyzes hexametrical genres from Homer to Theocritus.

Faraone has twice been awarded fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities and has also won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies. He has been a fellow at the Getty Research Center, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and the Institut d’Etudes Avancées in Paris.

Faraone also founded UChicago’s Center for the Study of Ancient Religions, which he directed from 2008-18. In 2008, he won a Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring. He previously served as associate editor of Classical Philology, published by UChicago Press.

Physical Sciences Division

László Babai has been named the Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Computer Science and Mathematics, and the College.

Babai specializes in theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics. In recent years, he has received worldwide attention for a proof that the Graph Isomorphism problem can be solved in quasi-polynomial time, which was called “potentially the most important theoretical computer science advance in more than a decade.”

Babai joined the University of Chicago in 1987. He shared the 1993 Gödel Prize in theoretical computer science for developing the concept of interactive proofs, which helped reshape the landscape of the theory of algorithms. In 2015, Babai received the Donald E. Knuth Prize, a lifetime achievement award for contributions to the foundations of computer science; and in 2016, he received the ACM SIGACT Distinguished Service Award and shared the Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing. Babai is a founder of the highly acclaimed study-abroad program “Budapest Semesters in Mathematics” (1985), the journal Combinatorica (1980), and the free online journal Theory of Computing (2005).

Babai was elected a full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1994, became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015, and spoke at the quadrennial International Congress of Mathematicians in 1990, 1994 and 2018. In 2005, he received the University’s Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Nick Feamster has been named the Neubauer Professor in the Department of Computer Science and the College.

Feamster, who joins UChicago this summer, researches computer networking and networked systems, with a particular interest in internet censorship, privacy and the Internet of Things. His work on experimental networked systems and security aims to make networks easier to manage, more secure and more available. At UChicago, he will serve as faculty director of the Center for Data and Computing.

The MIT Technology Review named Feamster to its list of top innovators under 35 in 2010, citing his study of “the suspicious behavior of spam.” He earned his doctorate in computer science in 2005 from MIT, where he also did his undergraduate work. He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, and has received the NSF Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the NSF Career Award and the IBM Faculty Award.

Social Sciences Division

Azeem Shaikh has been named a Ralph and Mary Otis Isham Professor in the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics and the College.

His research interests lie broadly in econometric theory. In 2018, he was elected a fellow of the Econometric Society and of the International Association for Applied Econometrics. He currently serves as an associate editor for the Econometrics Journal, Econometrica and the Journal of Econometrics. In addition, he co-directs the Big Data Initiative of the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics.

He joined the University of Chicago in 2007 and previously was a postdoctoral associate at the Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics at Yale University.

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Eric Budish has been named the Steven G. Rothmeier Professor.

His research is on market design, ranging from the design of financial exchanges, to matching markets, to the design of patents and R&D incentives, to event ticket markets, to cryptocurrencies. Budish’s best-known research, on high-frequency trading and the design of financial exchanges, has been discussed in major policy addresses by the New York attorney general and the SEC chair, and has influenced exchange design proposals in both stock markets and futures markets.

He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and is co-director of the Initiative on Global Markets at Chicago Booth.

Budish’s honors include the Marshall Scholarship, the Sloan Research Fellowship, the AQR Insight Award, the Arrow Award, the Leo Melamed Award and giving the 2017 AEA-AFA joint luncheon address.

Ronald Burt has been named the Charles M. Harper Leadership Professor.

A Booth faculty member since 1993, Burt is an expert on social networks and the ways in which those networks create competitive advantages in careers, organizations and markets. He is the author of numerous books, including Neighbor Networks (2010)—which won the George R. Terry Book Award from the Academy of Management—and Brokerage and Closure (2005).

Before returning to UChicago, where he earned a PhD in sociology in 1977, Burt held professorships at Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley.

He was elected as a fellow to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993, and to the Academy of Management in 2016. In 2017, he was given the Simmel Award by the International Network for Social Network Analysis.

Zhiguo He has been named the Fuji Bank and Heller Professor of Finance.

His research examines the implications of agency frictions and debt maturities in financial markets and macroeconomics, focusing on the role of financial institutions in the 2008 global financial crisis.

He has published in leading journals including the American Economic Review and Econometrica, and is an associate editor of the Journal of Finance. A Booth faculty member since 2008, He was named the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in 2014, and recently created the new MBA course, “Chinese Economy and Financial Markets.”

He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is also a co-director of the Fama-Miller Center for Research in Finance, which provides support on research infrastructure, large-scale projects, and other activities of scholars and PhD students.

Anil Kashyap has been named the Stevens Distinguished Service Professor.

Kashyap’s research focuses on financial intermediation and regulation, the Japanese economy, price setting, and monetary policy. His research has won him numerous awards, including a Sloan Research Fellowship, the Nikkei Prize for Excellent Books in Economic Sciences, and a Senior Houblon-Norman Fellowship from the Bank of England (twice). As of October 2016 he is an external member of the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee. In 2017, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon by the Japanese government for promoting and disseminating high-quality research on the Japanese financial system and economy.

Prior to joining the Chicago Booth faculty in 1991, Kashyap spent three years as an economist for the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve system. He currently works as a consultant for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and as a research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research. He serves on the board of directors of the Bank of Italy’s Einaudi Institute of Economics and Finance, is a member of the Squam Lake Group and serves on the International Monetary Fund’s Advisory Group on the development of a macro-prudential policy framework.

Kashyap is a member of both the American Economic Association and American Finance Association, and is on the faculty oversight Board of the Chicago Booth’s Initiative on Global Markets and a co-founder of the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum.

Brent Neiman has been named the Edward Eagle Brown Professor.

A Booth faculty member since 2008, Neiman conducts research on international macroeconomics and trade. He is director of the Initiative on International Economics at the Becker Friedman Institute, an executive board member of the Initiative for Global Markets at Chicago Booth and is a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

He serves as an associate editor of the American Economic Review, The Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Journal of International Economics.

A 2014 recipient of the Sloan Research Fellowship, Neiman previously served as the staff economist for international finance on the White House Council of Economic Advisers and has worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, at McKinsey and Company, and at the McKinsey Global Institute.

Haresh Sapra has been named the Charles T. Horngren Professor.

He studies the real effects of accounting measurement policies, disclosure regulation and corporate governance. His current research deals with issues of disclosure, transparency and financial reporting for financial institutions.

Since joining Booth faculty in 2000, Sapra has won numerous teaching awards, including being named one of the top-ranked professors in BusinessWeek’s Guide to the Top Business Schools. In 2005, Sapra also won the Ernest R. Wish Accounting Research Award for his paper “Do Mandatory Hedge Disclosures Discourage or Encourage Excessive Speculation?”

His research has been published in journals, including The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting and Economics, and Games and Economic Behavior. Sapra is currently a co-editor of the Journal of Accounting Research and is the academic coordinator of the Executive MBA program at Chicago Booth.