May 2nd, 2009 | Uncategorized

Two science professors receive tenure

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A committee voted to grant tenure to two science professors Thursday afternoon, bringing the total number of tenure appointments this year to nine. Eight of these have been in the sciences or social sciences.

Richard Yang (left), an associate professor of computer science, and Jun Korenaga (right), an associate professor of geology and geophysics, received tenure at a meeting of the Board of Permanent Officers, a body composed of the full professors in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Korenaga became a full professor, while Yang will retain his title of associate professor.

Korenaga studies the evolution and dynamics of the Earth’s mantle by examining the relationship of the mantle with the Earth’s core, crust and hydrosphere. He said he will soon extend his research to study not just the Earth’s dynamics but those of other planets, including Mars, Mercury and Venus.

Yang is the head of the Laboratory of Networked Systems at Yale. He received his B.E. in computer science from Tsinghua University, and his master’s and doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. His work centers around designing better computer and wireless networks, which Miller said will make the Internet of the future “more reliable, more efficient and more secure.”

“My reaction is probably like ‘Wow, it’s already over!’” Yang said. “I was expecting it to be a longer process.”

He added that he does not think his new job stability will impact his research or career path. “You do what you do and enjoy it,” he said.

In an interview, Yale College Dean Mary Miller said that this year’s dominance of science faculty in tenure appointments was likely because many of the promotions in the humanities came from external appointments.

Still, Miller said, “it speaks well that we’ve had so many internal promotions this year.”

Before Thursday’s vote, the University most recently granted tenure to Eric Sargis of anthropology, Udo Schwartz of mechanical engineering, Brian Scassellati of computer science and Ruth Blake of geology and geophysics, all of whom were promoted in April.