Purdue professors elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 19, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Three Purdue University professors have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

Leah H. Jamieson, the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering and Ransburg Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; H. Jay Melosh, Distinguished Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Physics; and Ei-ichi Negishi, the Herbert C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, will be inducted into the 2011 class at a ceremony on Oct. 1 at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

"The academy celebrates leaders in their fields and this year has selected Purdue professors that include a Nobel laureate, a planetary science expert who has participated in NASA missions and a pioneer in engineering education," said Purdue President France A. Córdova, who was elected as an academy member in 2008. "We are proud that professors Jamieson, Melosh and Negishi have been recognized for their extraordinary contributions. I am confident that they will enhance the academy's mission to create practical policy to address today's challenges."

Leah H. Jamieson

Leah H. Jamieson

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A co-founder and past director of Purdue's EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) program, Jamieson served as the 2007 president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Her interests include signal and speech processing, parallel algorithms, engineering education, engineering and society, and the public understanding of engineering. Jamieson and colleagues Edward Coyle and William Oakes were awarded the 2005 National Academy of Engineering's Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education for the creation and dissemination of EPICS. She was in the inaugural class of recipients of the National Science Foundation Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005 "for innovations in integrating engineering education and community service."

H. Jay Melosh

H. Jay Melosh

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Melosh has served as a member of the science team for three NASA space missions to image comets and examine their composition and behavior, and one lunar gravity mission. He is an expert in impact cratering, planetary tectonics and the physics of earthquakes and landslides and has studied the exchange of microorganisms between the terrestrial planets. Melosh also is a co-creator of a calculator used by governmental agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, NASA and the U.S. Air Force, to estimate the potential damage a comet or asteroid would cause if it hit the Earth. The calculator additionally is used as an educational tool and is available to the public on the "Impact: Earth!" website. Melosh has received the Barringer Medal of the Meteoritical Society, the Gilbert Award of the Geological Society of America and the Hess Medal of the American Geophysical Union.

Ei-ichi Negishi

Ei-ichi Negishi

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It is estimated that at least 25 percent of all chemical reactions in the pharmaceutical industry use the palladium-catalyzed cross coupling that earned Negishi the 2010 Nobel Prize in chemistry shared with Richard Heck and Akira Suzuki. His techniques to link carbon atoms together allow for easy and efficient synthesis of complex organic compounds used in everything from pharmaceuticals to electronics. In addition to the painkiller naproxen and the cancer treatment taxol, Negishi coupling has been used in fluorescent marking essential for DNA sequencing and in the creation of materials for thin LED displays. Negishi has authored more than 400 publications, including two books, and these publications have been cited more than 20,000 times. In addition to the Nobel Prize, Negishi has received the Order of Culture, Japan's highest distinction.

Jamieson, Melosh and Negishi join seven Purdue colleagues as members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Those previously elected to membership are Córdova; Arden Bement, director of Purdue's Global Policy Research Institute; R. Graham Cooks, the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; Joseph Francisco, the William E. Moore Distinguished Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry; Albert Overhauser, the Stuart Distinguished Professor of Physics; Michael Rossmann, the Hanley Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences; and Freydoon Shahidi, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Current academy research focuses on science and technology; global security; social policy and American institutions; the humanities and culture; and education. With headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., the academy's work is advanced by its 4,600 elected members worldwide who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business and public affairs. Among its fellows are more than 250 Nobel Prize winners and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

A complete list of new members is available on the academy's website at http://www.amacad.org/news/alphalist2011.pdf 

Writers:    Elizabeth K. Gardner, 765-494-2081, ekgardner@purdue.edu

                   Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, venere@purdue.edu 

Sources:   Leah H. Jamieson, 765-494-5346, lhj@purdue.edu

                    Jay Melosh, 765-494-3290, jmelosh@purdue.edu

                    Ei-ichi Negishi, negishi@purdue.edu