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Dear HSS family and friends, 
It was an exciting and eventful year for the division. In addition to celebrating the impressive array of honors and awards bestowed on our faculty and students, we welcomed four new faculty, six new postdoctoral scholars, and one of our largest incoming PhD classes. After seven strong years of leadership, Jonathan Katz handed the reins to Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, who became the 11th chair of the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.  We also recognized the combined fifty years of service of three valued HSS staff members. We continued collaborating with our Caltech colleagues and with the scholarly community at The Huntington and at research institutions throughout the world, all the while ensuring that our students receive a rich and rigorous education in the humanities and social sciences.

This year-in-review newsletter highlights some of the many achievements of 2014 and includes links to more information. We also invite you to explore the new
HSS website, which will continue to evolve over the coming year.
With many exciting developments on the horizon, 2015 promises to be another big year for the division. We look forward to keeping you informed—and, as always, we welcome your feedback.

Thank you for your ongoing interest in HSS.
Professor of History and Director and General Editor of the Einstein Papers Project Diana L. Kormos-Buchwald welcomes student visitors to the EPP archive onsite at Caltech. 

Wasserman Professor of Social Sciences Jean E. Ensminger presented her Earnest C. Watson Lecture, “Aiding and Abetting a Culture of Corruption.”

Professor of History Diana Kormos-Buchwald was selected as a fellow of the American Physical Society for her “pioneering work in the history of the physical sciences, especially her exemplary editorial leadership on The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein.” 

Organized by 
Professor of History Nicolas Wey-Gomez, a new lecture series entitled “Exploration: The Globe and Beyond” launched with its first talk and a feature article in Caltech News.  

Former general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers Fred Claire joined 
Professor of Political Science Rod Kiewiet to debut their course “The Theory and Practice of Moneyball,” which is offered again in 2014—2015.  Read more here.

The Caltech community mourns the passing of Mary Stillman Harkness Professor of Social Science, Emeritus, Lance E. Davis, whose career as a pioneer of cliometrics is featured 
William D. Hacker Professor of Economics and Political Science Charles R. Plott being honored at China’s Zhejiang University on May 13.


Hacker Professor Charles Plott was awarded an honorary professorship by Zhejiang University and gave a talk as part of its Qizhen Global Vision Lecture Series.

At the invitation of
Professor of English Kevin M. Gilmartin, HSS welcomed its first writer in residence under the James Michelin Distinguished Visitors Program: Paul Muldoon, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.  Author Teddy Wayne will join us in January 2015.

Professor Wey-Gomez was awarded a 2013—2014 ASCIT Teaching Award.

Under the leadership of Caltech’s
Broad Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of History and Literature John Brewer and The Huntington’s Steve Hindle, Keck Foundation Director of Research, the Materialities, Texts and Images (MTI) program completed its inaugural year as the first formal research collaboration between Caltech and The Huntington.  Read more about the collaboration and the MTI program here
Outgoing HSS chair Jonathan N. Katz (left) is pictured with incoming chair Jean-Laurent Rosenthal.


As of July 1, Axline Professor of Business Economics Jean-Laurent Rosenthal assumed the position of division chair, succeeding Sugahara Professor of Social Sciences and Statistics Jonathan Katz. “Jonathan ably steered the division through the financial crisis of 2008 and the painful budgetary adjustments that followed, while always keeping the focus on the core missions of research and teaching," Rosenthal says of Katz. "Beyond a more fiscally sound budget and administrative structure, much good was accomplished in those seven years. During his tenure, the faculty rebounded to close to an all-time peak—no small feat given the extraordinary instability of the social science faculty in particular. Jonathan also devoted considerable efforts to fundraising, and as a result, HSS has two additional endowed chairs and a major research center, the Ronald and Maxine Linde Institute of Economic and Management Sciences. We also have Jonathan to thank for taking the initiative to pursue an active and productive collaboration with The Huntington, an alliance that can trace its roots to the founding of both organizations and continues with a renewed vigor today." Read more here

Professor of Economics Leeat Yariv was named director of HSS's Social Science Experimental Laboratory (SSEL). 

Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch posted an article entitled “How to ‘light up’ your brain like Warren Buffet,” featuring Kirby Professor of Behavioral Economics Colin F. Camerer’s research into the brain activity and behavior of people trading in experimental markets where price bubbles formed. Related stories appeared in the Washington PostLos Angeles TimesForbes, and Business Insider, among other print and online publications. 

Professor of English Catherine Jurca started her appointment as Executive Officer for the Humanities. 

Flintridge Foundation Professor of Economics and Political Science Thomas R. Palfrey, III, temporarily relocated to New York City as a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation.

The New York Times Sunday Review featured an opinion piece on Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, Thayer (Thad) Scudder, “the world’s leading authority on the impact of dams on poor people,” with a focus on his conclusion that many dams currently under construction “will have disastrous environmental and socio-economic consequences.”

Davis Professor of Economics and Social Sciences John O. Ledyard's co-authored paper, “The Speed of Information Revelation and Eventual Price Quality in Markets with Insiders: Comparing Two Theories,” won the 2014 Pagano and Zechner Prize for best non-investments paper in the Review of Finance.
Professor of English Cindy A. Weinstein, Caltech’s newest Vice Provost.


Professor of English Cindy Weinstein assumed her duties as Caltech Vice Provost.  In this capacity, Weinstein oversees several programs, including the Council on Undergraduate Education, accreditation, the Staff and Faculty Consultation Center, Student-Faculty Programs, the Center for Teaching, Learning & Outreach, and the libraries. In addition, she is involved with the President's Diversity Council. Read more here

Professor of Economics and Political Science Erik Snowberg was appointed Master of Student Houses (MOSH). The MOSH is a professorial faculty member who focuses on promoting a positive overall experience for Caltech undergraduates and acts as a liaison between students and faculty. Read more here

Kenan Professor of History and Social Science Morgan Kousser traveled to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) as a visiting professor under a new HSS-HKUST faculty exchange program.

fall 2014 issue of Engineering & Science magazine “Mind over Matters,” featured many HSS faculty, including Bren Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Professor of Biology Ralph Adolphs; Professor Brewer; Professor Camerer; Professor of Philosophy Fiona Cowie; Professor Ensminger; Assistant Professor of English Dehn Gilmore; Assistant Professor of English Christopher A. Hunter; Assistant Professor of English Jennifer A. Jahner; Professor Jurca; Professor of Literature, Emeritus, Oscar Mandel; Assistant Professor of Philosophy Gideon Manning; Director of the Caltech Brain Imaging Center, Professor of Psychology John P. O'Doherty; Bing Professor of Neuroscience, Behavioral Biology, and Economics Antonio Rangel; Mellon Caltech-Huntington Postdoctoral Instructor in Art History Christa N. Robbins; and Professor Snowberg

As featured in the 
New York Times, the Pasadena Star-News, and Caltech News, a digital edition of The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein launched under the leadership of Einstein Papers Project director and general editor Diana Kormos-Buchwald. Related stories appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Gizmodo, among other print and online publications. Watch the video to learn more:

Professor Rangel and members of his lab were featured in an
article about the connection between self-control and the brain's ability to quickly determine whether or not a particular food is healthy. Related stories appeared in the Daily Telegraph and the Huffington Post, among others. Click on this video to learn more:


Clockwise from top left: Ewens, Hirsch, Levine-Gronningsater, and Roll.

New Faculty

Michael Ewens joined HSS as an Associate Professor of Finance and Entrepreneurship after four years at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.  Read his Caltech News interview here

Alex Hirsch was appointed an Associate Professor of Political Science after four years at Princeton University. Read his Caltech News interview here.

Sarah Levine-Gronningsater has been appointed a Caltech Research Assistant Professor of History while she completes two years as a Barra Postdoctoral Fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies.  She will join us on campus as an Assistant Professor of History in 2016.

Richard Roll joined HSS as the Linde Institute Professor of Finance after more than 30 years as a Professor of Finance at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.  Read his Caltech News interview here.

New Postdoctoral Scholars

Giovanni Gentile joined the Rangel Lab as a postdoc in cognitive neuroscience.

Antti Hyttinen is working with Frederick Eberhardt.

Hendrik Rommeswinkel is working with Chris Hitchcock. 

Ben Saltzman began his appointment as Weisman Postdoctoral Instructor in Medieval British Literature.

Anita Tusche joined the Rangel Lab as a neuroeconomics postdoc. 

Shuo Wang joined the Adolphs Lab as a postdoc in neuroscience.

New Graduate Students

HSS welcomed one of its largest first-year PhD classes, including:

Nicholas Adams-Cohen, International Political Economy, Econometrics, and Network Studies

Yingying He, Behavioral Economics

Kevin Laughren, Behavioral Economics

Chujun Lin, Microeconomic Theory

Alasdair Martin, Mathematics and Economics

Alejandro Robinson (Cortes), Applied Microeconomic Theory

Han Seo, Microeconomic Theory, Combining Psychology with Economics

George Vega Yon, Quantitative Methods for Policy Evaluation

Mali Zhang, Theoretical and Empirical Microeconomics (Behavioral Labor Economics)

Hao Zhao, Political Economy

HSS thanks all our staff for their service!

Three HSS staff members were honored at the 59th Annual Staff Service Awards:

Laurel Auchampaugh, 
Social Sciences Curriculum & Graduate Program Administrator, 25 years

Barbara Estrada, Administrative Assistant, 15 years

Susan Vite, Administrative Assistant, 10 years

Left: Khai Chiong, Ph.D. social science (expected June 2015); right: Eric Mukherjee, BS, astrophysics and history, 2014.
Student Honors and Awards

Khai Chiong received a 2013—2014 ASCIT Teaching Award for his work as a teaching assistant.
Eric Mukherjee was awarded the
Friends of the Caltech Libraries Senior Thesis Prize for his thesis, "How Far from Jerusalem? Tropical Customs and the Question of Race in the Book of John Mandeville."
Jetson Leder-Luiz received the David M. Grether Prize in Social Science.
Jaden Geller received the Alexander P. and Adelaide F. Hixon Prize for Writing in Freshman Humanities.
Gerelt Tserenjigmid received the John O. Ledyard Prize for Graduate Research in Social Science.
Anna Liu and Marlyn Moore both received the Mary A. Earl McKinney Prize in Literature.
Suchita Nety received the Hallett Smith Prize for Essay Devoted to Shakespeare

Where did they go from here?

Recent HSS graduates and postdocs have left the halls of Baxter, Dabney, and Broad in pursuit of many exciting opportunities. 2014 placements include the following:

2014 PhD recipient Federico Tadei is now an ERC Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Università Bocconi in Milan.

John Clithero, a postdoctoral scholar in neuroeconomics in the Rangel Lab, is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Pomona College.

Keise Izuma, a postdoctoral scholar in neuroscience in the Adolphs Lab, is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of York. 

Julia Jennings, Weisman Postdoctoral Instructor in History, is an Assistant Professor in Anthropology at the University of Albany-SUNY.

Peter Landry, a postdoctoral scholar in neuroeconomics in the Camerer Lab, is an Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Department of Management and the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Leila Montaser-Kouhsari, a postdoctoral scholar in neuroeconomics in the Rangel and Adolphs Labs, is now doing a neurology internship at Richmond University Medical Center.

Sebastian Turban, SSEL postdoctoral scholar in economics, has joined the Direction Générale du Trésor (French Treasury).

Derrick Spires, Mellon Caltech-Huntington Postdoctoral Instructor in English, returned to his assistant professorship in English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  

Sonja van Well, a postdoctoral scholar in neuroscience in the O’Doherty Lab, is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam.
Copyright © 2014 Caltech Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, All rights reserved.

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