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 Dr. Matthew Baring

Dr. Baring is a member Rice University’s department of physics and astronomy. He received his undergraduate degree with First Class Honors in 1983 from the University of Melbourne. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics from the University of Cambridge in 1989. Dr. Baring’s teaching areas include: stellar astrophysics, extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology, compact objects, radiative processes, and mathematical methods. His research areas include: theoretical high energy astrophysics, gamma-ray bursts, soft gamma repeaters, pulsars, supernova remnants, active galactic nuclei, cosmic rays, shock acceleration theory, QED radiation processes, plasma physics mechanisms, and hadronic interactions.


Dr. Anthony Chan 

Dr. Anthony Chan received his undergraduate degree in 1981 and masters degree with First Class Honors in 1983 from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1991. Professor Chan’s primary research area is the acceleration and transport of energetic particles in space plasmas, particularly relativistic electrons in Earth’s magnetosphere. This work involves theory and simulation of the dynamics of relativistic particles in magnetospheric electromagnetic fields, including motion in large-scale fields and in turbulent electromagnetic wave fields. Relativistic electrons are of great interest because it is not well understood how and where they are accelerated to such high energies and because these particles are potentially harmful to technological systems and to humans in space. Recently Dr. Chan and graduate students Yue Fei, Bin Yu, Xin Tao, and Liheng Zheng have been collaborating on a variety of projects to develop advanced theoretical models of relativistic electron dynamics. Research on the relativistic electrons is undertaken with researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and with other Rice faculty.

Dr. Scott Colman

Scott Colman is an architectural historian, theorist, critic, and designer, committed to these activities as implicated pursuits. Specializing in modern and contemporary architecture and urbanism, Colman’s research is focused on the changing interrelationship of creative, theoretical, and historical production. A graduate of the communication, media, and cultural studies program at the University of Technology, Sydney, Colman has received degrees in architecture from the Knowlton School of Architecture, Ohio State University, and the University of Sydney, where he was awarded the University Medal and completed his doctoral dissertation on mid-twentieth-century architecture’s engagement with planning, social science, and philosophy. He has worked as a project architect in Australia and the United States, has lectured at conferences and symposia globally, and has been an invited design critic at numerous institutions in the US and internationally. Colman is currently writing a book on the theory, practice, and intellectual friendship of the German-American architects Ludwig Hilberseimer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and an intellectual biography of the English-American architect Colin Rowe. Colman teaches courses in architectural history and theory and directs the M.Arch. Design Thesis program.

Dr. Peter R. Hartley

Peter R. Hartley, Ph.D., is the George and Cynthia Mitchell Chair and a professor of economics at Rice University. He is also a Rice faculty scholar of energy economics for the Baker Institute. Hartley has worked for more than 25 years on energy economics issues, focusing originally on electricity, but also including work on natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear and renewable energy. He wrote on reform of the electricity supply industry in Australia throughout the 1980s and early 1990s and advised the government of Victoria when it completed the acclaimed privatization and reform of the electricity industry in that state in 1989. Apart from energy and environmental economics, Hartley has published research on theoretical and applied issues in money and banking, business cycles and international finance. He worked for the Priorities Review Staff, and later the Economic Division, of the Prime Minister’s Department in the Australian government. He came to Rice as an associate professor of economics in 1986 after serving as an assistant professor of economics at Princeton University from 1980 to 1986. Hartley completed an honors degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in economics at The Australian National University. He obtained a Ph.D. in economics at The University of Chicago.

Dr. Alexander Morgan

Dr. Alex Morgan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rice University. Before joining Rice, he was a postdoc in Hong Yu Wong’s Philosophy of Neuroscience Group at the University of Tübingen. Dr. Morgan did his PhD in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University, where he also received a Graduate Certificate from the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science. He received received BA Hons and BSc degrees from the University of Auckland in his home country of New Zealand. His research interests cluster at the intersection of the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of neuroscience and action theory. He’s interested in questions about the origins, nature, and mechanisms of phylogenetically basic forms of intentional agency. Philosophy affords a synoptic perspective that allows him to weave together the best available evidence from psychology and neuroscience to address these topics.

Dr. Aysha Pollnitz

Dr. Pollnitz is an early modern historian whose research focuses on the transmission of knowledge and ideas in Europe and the Atlantic.  Her first book on Princely education in early modern Britain was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015 and won the 2016 Royal Historical Society’s Whitfield Prize. Dr. Pollnitz is currently researching the translation of liberal education to the Americas in the sixteenth and seventeenth century.  She is particularly interested in the classical schooling of indigenous elites in New England and New Spain and the contribution of the liberal arts and sciences to discourses of empire and social mobility in the New World.  Dr. Pollnitz offers undergraduate courses in early modern European history at Rice University.  They include HIST/MDEM 345: “Renaissance Europe” and HIST 361: “Tudors and Stuarts, 1485-1707”.  She will also teach new classes on “Sex, gender, and family in Europe, 1300-1700” and “Pre-Modern Political Thought: Cicero to Locke” and regularly instruct a FWIS. She offers graduate fields, directed readings, and seminars in early modern European history upon request. Dr. Pollnitz is committed to facilitating undergraduate research.  She welcomes inquiries from students who wish to undertake summer or semester-long independent research projects, history honors theses, and Mellon Mays or Rice Undergraduate Scholars Program theses.

Dr. Frank Toffoletto

Dr. Frank Toffoletto received his undergraduate degree from La Trobe University with First Class Honors in 1981 and his Ph.D. from Rice University in 1987. His research has focused on the development and use of computational models of the global-scale plasma physics of Earth’s magnetosphere. Computational modeling has become a major research tool in many branches of physics, most notably when it is used to enhance understanding of complex nonlinear systems. This is especially true for space plasma physics, where numerical modeling has become the research tool of choice for understanding a diverse set of physical problems related to space plasmas that are carefully vetted against in situ measurements. The tools and the insight that comes from developing and applying these computational models for Earth will likely play an important role in furthering our understanding of plasma environments throughout universe.

Dr. Kerry Ward

Dr. Ward regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate thematic courses in world history. She also teaches in the African Studies Minor program, the Asian Studies undergraduate programs, the Museums and Cultural Heritage minor program, and the Center for the Study of Women Gender and Sexuality program. She offers courses on forced migration in the modern word, Indian Ocean history, and comparative slavery and empires, and museums in world history. She is interested in working with graduate students who want to integrate world history into their main research and teaching fields.