Faculty spotlight


Terence Tao, Mathematics

Terence Tao was a seven year-old high school student when he began taking calculus classes. By age 20 he had received a Ph.D. from Princeton and joined the UCLA faculty. He has won the Fields Medal in Mathematics, a MacArthur “genius” grant, and the Crafoord Prize for Mathematics. Watch Tao talk about how he approaches problem-solving. View the video.


Suzanne Paulson, Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences

Suzanne Paulson travels across Los Angeles in her Toyota RAV 4 electric vehicle measuring air quality. Her study found that neighborhoods downwind of Santa Monica airport have elevated levels of pollutants. Suzanne’s research into the atmospheric chemistry of aerosols continues to illustrate the effect of pollutants on our health and our climate here in Los Angeles. Read more.


Song-Chun Zhu, Statistics

Song-Chun Zhu conducts computer vision research using image parsing, video parsing, and statistical modeling. His work presents exciting applications for machine learning and artificial intelligence including: surveillance, human body modeling and simulation, aerial imaging, visual arts, and intelligent vehicle design. Read more.



Sabeena Merchant, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Sabeeha Merchant uses a combination of classical genetics, genomics, and biochemistry to discover how a single-celled green alga, Chlamydomona, uses metal ions to create energy for biosynthesis. Sabeeha is a lead researcher on the gene sequencing of the Chlamydomona, which has wide-reaching implications for the study of how cells work and the study of human diseases. Read more.


Richard Kaner, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Richard Kaner has synthesized novel superconductors, developed membranes that separate gases from air, and produced new high temperature materials. These discoveries have extraordinary industrial implications which should lead to more pure and effective pharmaceuticals. Renowned for his exceptional teaching, the Academic Senate selected Richard as a Faculty Research Lecturer for 2013-2014. Read more.


Neil Garg, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Neil Garg has been recognized for his exceptional research with the Glenn T. Seaborg Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Reseach Fellowship, and the Roche Excellence in Chemistry Award. His lab develops synthetic strategies and methods that enable the synthesis of complex bioactive molecules. Garg is also known for his organic chemistry course, in which students create music videos about chemical reactions. Read more.