New Faculty 2020-2021

NYU Abu Dhabi is a research university that fully integrates a liberal arts and science undergraduate college, organically linked to a major university in the United States. Over time, NYU Abu Dhabi has begun to offer distinctive graduate and professional programs.

Assistant Professors

Joan Barceló

Joan Barceló

Joan Barceló is Assistant Professor of Political Science. He holds a B.A. from Universitat de Barcelona, an M.Sc. from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, an M.A. from New York University, and a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.

Barceló’s current projects focus on the micro-level causes and consequences of conflict. He is interested in a variety of topics, including conflict, terrorism, political identities, historical legacies, and political behavior. He has been published in the British Journal of Political Science, Party Politics, Research & Politics, and Political Studies, among other publications.

This is Barcelo’s first academic appointment. In the past, he interned at the United Nations ESCAP in Bangkok and served as a graduate researcher at NYU Shanghai.

Djellel Difallah

Djellel Difallah

Djellel Difallah is Assistant Professor. He obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Fribourg, an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Louisiana, and a Diploma in Informatics from the Search Results University of Science and Technology Houari Boumediene in Algeria.

Difallah's research interests include the study of crowdsourcing, human-computation, machine learning, and knowledge discovery and management. His work focuses on the creation of crowdsourcing systems that improve AI models and make a positive impact on the crowd participants and society.

Prior to joining NYU, Difallah was a Faculty Fellow at the Center of Data Science, NYU. During his professional career, Djellel spent time at the Wikimedia Foundation (Research Team), Schlumberger, interned at Microsoft Research, and participated in the Google Summer of Code.

Aashish Jha

Aashish Jha

Aashish Jha is Assistant Professor of Biology. He received his BA in Molecular and Cellular Biology from The University of California Berkeley and his Ph.D. in Human Genetics from The University of Chicago.

Jha uses genomics to decipher human population histories and microbiomes. His recent work has focused on traditional Himalayan populations and his current research projects include genomics and microbiomics of Nepal, India, Africa, and Oceania. During his postdoctoral scholarship at Stanford University, he started The Himalayan Diversity Project to study the genetics and microbiome of Himalayan populations. His work in the Himalaya is supported by grants from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Stanford University Center for Computational, Evolutionary, and Human Genomics (CEHG). Jha has published two dozen peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

Prior to joining NYU, Jha was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University. He also served as Director of Bioinformatics for NomNomNow, a pet nutrition, and health company and he was a consultant for CDB Consulting, LTD.

Aaron Kaufman

Aaron Kaufman

Aaron Kaufman is Assistant Professor of Political Science. He holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, an A.M. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Political Methodology and American Politics from Harvard University.

Kaufman’s research interests leverage cutting-edge methods in computer science and causal inference to answer substantive questions about public opinion, voting patterns, and elite behavior. Additionally, he produces open-source tools to help survey researchers conduct more efficient and unbiased research. He is committed to research transparency and open science. In his dissertation, he builds, tests, and experimentally validates a computational model to estimate partisanship from free text. He extends this model to predict the relative biases of public opinion survey questions and shows that voters respond predictably to texts with varying bias. Furthermore, he shows that survey firms have consistently trended toward writing more conservative questions over the past two decades.

Prior to joining NYU, Kaufman was a Researcher at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. In 2018, he won the APSA Presidency and Executive Politics Section’s Founders’ Best Paper Award.

Monica Marks

Monica Marks

Monica Marks is Assistant Professor of Arab Crossroads Studies. She completed her Master’s and Ph.D. at St Antony's College, Oxford.

Marks is a scholar of Islamist movements, gender, and politics in the Middle East and North Africa. Her dissertation was an ethnographic study of post-2011 Tunisian politics based on over 1,200 in-country interviews. Her current research focuses on broad topics across the Middle East and North Africa region and beyond, but especially the tensions between pluralism and state power in Tunisia and Turkey. Marks studied in Tanzania, Tunisia, Jordan, and Turkey, where she published academic work and more public-facing analysis for leading North American and European think tanks, along with publications like Foreign Policy, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, for which she freelanced briefly as a journalist. She is passionate about mentoring students, facilitating creative fieldwork in and beyond the MENA region, and bringing academic research into greater conversation with journalism, policy-related analysis, and public-facing conversation.

Prior to joining NYU, Marks was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. She is a Rhodes and Fulbright Scholar.

Giuliana Pardelli

Giuliana Pardelli

Giuliana Pardelli is Assistant Professor of Political Science. She holds a B.A. from the Universidade de São Paulo, an M.A. from the Paris School of Economics, and an M.A. from the Hertie School of Governance, and a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Her research focuses on the relationship between inequality, state-building, and state capacity, with a regional focus on Latin America. Much of her work examines the determinants of subnational variation in fiscal capacity and public goods provision. She has been published in the American Political Science Review and has been funded by The Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance, the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice, and PIIRS.

Prior to joining NYU, Pardelli was a Teaching Assistant at Princeton University.

Vijayavenkataraman Sanjairaj

Vijayavenkataraman Sanjairaj

Vijayavenkataraman Sanjairaj is Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the National University of Singapore and B.Eng. from the College of Engineering Guindy, India.

Vijay’s research interests include additive manufacturing, 3D bioprinting, and biomaterials for tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, drug testing, and medical devices applications. He is particularly interested in design and additive manufacturing of three-dimensional scaffolds and bioprinting of cell-laden hydrogels for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. He has authored or co-authored more than 25 publications in peer-reviewed international journals. He was also part of several life sciences and biomedical industry-oriented programs such as Singapore Stanford Biodesign (SSB) Innovation Class, NUS Lean Launch Pad Singapore (modelled after NSF I-Corps program), and P&G Serial Innovator Camp.

Prior to joining NYU, Vijay was Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore. He was the recipient of several prestigious fellowships and awards, including the President’s Graduate Fellowship for his doctoral studies at Singapore, DAAD WISE Scholarship from Germany, Raman Memorial Award, and The Sachivothama Sir C.P.Ramasamy Aiyar undergraduate scholarship.

Melanie Meng Xue

Melanie Meng Xue

Melanie Meng Xue is Assistant Professor of Economics. She holds a B.A. from Fudan University, an M.A. from Claremont McKenna College, and a Ph.D. from George Mason University.

Xue's research lies at the intersection of economic history and political economy. She has studied the rise of gender-equitable beliefs and the deterioration of civil society in the context of imperial China. By tracing the impact of historical events over time and in various institutional settings, her work isolates the role of values, beliefs, and norms in shaping economic and political disparities. Another strand of her research concerns the decoding of folklore and mythology as a new approach to understanding historical values.

Prior to joining NYU, Xue was a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA and Northwestern.

Weiren Zhao

Weiren Zhao

Weiren Zhao is Assistant Professor of Mathematics. He earned his PhD in Mathematics and a B.S. in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics from Zhejiang University in China.

Zhao focuses on functional analysis and harmonic analysis and their applications to PDE problems. More specifically, he is interested in the stability of coherent structure in fluid motions. With collaborators, he has proven well-known conjectures like Case's conjecture on inviscid damping for monotone shear flow, and Beck & Wayne's conjecture on the enhanced dissipation rate and the metastability for the 2D Navier-Stokes equations around the bar state called Kolmogorov flow. He also confirmed some interesting phenomena in fluid dynamics mathematically with his collaborators, including the vorticity depletion predicted by Bouchet and Morita and the generation of magnetic islands predicted by Hirota, Tatsuno, and Yoshida.

Prior to this appointment, Zhao was a postdoctoral researcher at NYU Abu Dhabi and Peking University.

Associate Professors

Diogo Arsénio

Diogo Arsénio

Diogo Arsénio is Associate Professor of Mathematics. He holds a B.A. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne and his Ph.D. from NYU's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

Arsénio is a mathematician and teaches various courses on mathematical analysis. His research focuses on the analysis of partial differential equations with a particular interest in collisional kinetic theory. Most notably, his results have shed light on the links existing between the Boltzmann equation and the equations of fluid mechanics, such as the Navier-Stokes equations, through the so-called hydrodynamic limit.

Prior to joining NYU, Arsénio worked in Paris at the École Normale Supérieure, the Laboratoire Jacques-Louis Lions, and the Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu-Paris Rive Gauche.

Jemima Frimpong

Jemima A. Frimpong

Jemima A. Frimpong is Associate Professor of Social Research and Public Policy. She holds a B.S. from Rutgers University, an MPH from the University of Arizona, and an  M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Frimpong’s research focuses on the complex dynamics of decision making, and the intersection of information processing and discrimination. She has worked extensively in healthcare organizations, examining how managerial attributes affect the adoption of innovations, treatment practices, and ultimately the health of patients. Another stream of her research investigates the impact of stereotyping and prejudice on managerial decision making. She is particularly interested in studying how managers process information about job applicants and employees, and how these processes might lead to discrimination and other adverse outcomes. She is conducting a series of lab and survey-based experiments designed to elicit the dynamics of biases in hiring, evaluation, and promotion decisions.

Prior to joining NYU, Frimpong held teaching appointments at Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University.

Onoso Imoagene

Onoso Imoagene

Onoso Imoagene is Associate Professor of Social Research and Public Policy. She holds a B.Sc. in Sociology from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, an M.Phil. in Modern Society and Global Transformations from the University of Cambridge, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University.

Imoagene’s main research areas are international migration and race and ethnicity, with a special focus on first and second generation African immigrants in several national diasporas, including the British and American Diasporas. Her first book, Beyond Expectations: Second Generation Nigerians in the United States and Britain, published by the University of California Press, is the first book-length comparative study on the adult African second generation in Britain and the United States. She is working on her second book, Lucky Migrants? West African Diversity Visa Migrants and the Downstream Effects of US Immigration Policy.

Prior to joining NYU, Imoagene was a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation. She serves as secretary/treasurer for the Section on Race and Ethnic Minorities in the American Sociological Association.

Sabino Kornrich

Sabino Kornrich

Sabino Kornrich is Associate Professor of Social Research and Public Policy. He holds a B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Kornrich is a sociologist who studies inequality, gender, and the family in the United States and across developed countries. He is particularly interested in examining competing understandings of inequality and the family: whether these domains function according to economic or social rules, and how and they change over time. His research on changing parental investments in children has been published in Demography and featured in the New York Times, the Economist, and The Atlantic. His other research on gender and inequality has been published in the American Sociological Review and the American Journal of Sociology. His newest projects examine how the rise of online dating has shaped matching in marriage and examine historical changes in the age at first marriage.

Prior to joining NYU, Kornrich held appointments at Emory University, the Center for Advanced Study in Social Sciences, and the United States Study Centre at the University of Sydney.

Muhammad Shafique

Muhammad Shafique

Muhammad Shafique is Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, an M.Sc. in Information Technology from Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Science, and a B.Sc. in Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore, Pakistan.

Shafique’s research interests are in brain-inspired computing, AI & machine learning hardware and system-level design, energy-efficient systems, robust computing, hardware security, emerging technologies & nanosystems, FPGAs, MPSoCs, and embedded systems. His research has a special focus on cross-layer analysis, modeling, design, and optimization of computing and memory systems. Besides co-founding a technology startup in Pakistan, he was also an initiator and team lead of an ICT R&D project. Before, he was with Streaming Networks Pvt. Ltd. where he was involved in research and development of video coding systems for several years. His research has been supported by various funding bodies in Germany, Austria, the EU, and by industry, covering both the basic and applied research topics. He has also been an associate editor and guest editor of several journals like ACM TECS, IEEE D&T, and IEEE T-SUSC. He holds one US patent and has (co-)authored six books, more than ten book Chapters, and over 250 papers for premier journals and conferences.

Prior to joining NYU, Shafique was a full professor of Computer Architecture and Robust Energy-Efficient Technologies at the Institute of Computer Engineering in Austria. He also established and led a highly recognized research group for several years as well as conducted impactful R&D activities in Pakistan.

Pierre Youssef

Pierre Youssef

Pierre Youssef is Associate Professor of Mathematics. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Université Paris-Est Marne-La-Vallée, an M.A. from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, and a B.A. from Lebanese University, .

His research focuses on high dimensional phenomena occurring in probability, combinatorics, graph theory, convex geometry, and functional analysis. The interconnection between these topics is at the heart of his work. He has been published in Mathematika 60, International Mathematics Research Notices, Electronic Journal of Probability, and other publications.

Prior to joining NYU, Youssef served as maître de conférences at Université Paris Diderot. Before that, he spent two years as a PIMS/CNRS postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta (Canada). He obtained the French habilitation from Université Paris Diderot in 2019 and was awarded the prize of Université Paris Est for his dissertation.

Professors

Carol Genetti

Carol Genetti

Carol Genetti is Professor and Vice Provost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs. She holds a B.A. from the University of Oregon, an M.A. from the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.

Genetti is a linguist who specializes in Himalayan languages, especially those of the Tibeto-Burman language family. Her work spans multiple subfields of linguistics, including language documentation, syntax, historical linguistics, and prosody. She seeks to discover how linguistic structures are shaped by speakers' use of language as a tool of communication in their daily lives. She is committed to supporting endangered-language speech communities and was the Founding Director of InField/Colang, a biennial institute that brings together linguists and speakers of endangered languages for shared research and teaching in techniques of language documentation, conservation, and revitalization. Her 2007 monograph, “A Grammar of Dolakha Newar”, received the inaugural Georg von der Gabelentz Award from the Association for Linguistic Typology. She is also the author of an introductory textbook, How Languages Work, now in its second edition.

Prior to joining NYU, Genetti served for eight years as Dean of the Graduate Division and Anne and Michael Towbes Graduate Dean Chair at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to that she served for seven years as Associate Dean in Humanities and Fine Arts and six years as Chair of the Department of Linguistics.

 Stéphane Helleringer

Stéphane Helleringer

Stéphane Helleringer is Professor of Social Research and Public Policy. He holds a B.A. from École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, an M.A. from the University Paris-Nanterre, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Helleringer is a demographer with interests in a) the development of new methods to measure demographic trends in countries with limited data, and b) measuring the impact of epidemics on population health and mortality. He has conducted several trials of innovative approaches to collecting demographic data (e.g., computer vision). He has also worked extensively on the impact of HIV/AIDS, Polio and Ebola in several African countries. Helleringer is currently the principal investigator of a multi-country study on adolescent and adult mortality in Malawi, Uganda, Guinea-Bissau and Bangladesh, funded by the US National Institutes of Health. He also recently initiated a panel study of behaviors and mortality during the COVID–19 pandemic in Malawi.

Prior to joining NYU, Helleringer held appointments at Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

David Melcher

David Melcher

David Melcher is Professor of Psychology. He received his PhD and M.Sc. in Psychology from Rutgers University and B.A. from Transylvania University.

Melcher investigates the interaction of perception, attention, memory, and action within a cognitive neuroscience framework. His main research interest is how attention, perception, memory, emotion, and self-movement interact in guiding our cognition and actions, as well as the neural underpinnings of these capacities. He has published numerous articles in international, peer-reviewed journals such as Nature, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, Current Biology, PNAS, Trends in Cognitive Science, Cognition, and the Journal of Neuroscience. In 2011, the American Psychological Association recognized the impact of this work in the field of cognitive neuroscience by awarding him a “Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology”. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Vision, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, the journal Perception, and the open access journal iPerception.

Prior to joining NYU, Melcher served as an Associate Professor at the University of Trento in Italy and a consultant at RE:Lab in Modena, Italy. He has held visiting appointments at University of South Florida, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Harvard Medical School, NYU Langone, Bocconi University, and Collège de France.

Arlie Petters

Arlie Petters

Arlie Petters is Provost of NYU Abu Dhabi and Professor of Mathematics. He received his PhD in mathematics from MIT, and has a B.A. and M.A. in Mathematics and Physics from Hunter College of the City University of New York.

Petters’ research explores how gravity acts on light. He pioneered the mathematical theory of weak-deflection gravitational lensing, which brought powerful methods from pure mathematics to bear on astronomy. He also advanced applications of gravitational lensing, which included predicting effects that probe the nature of spacetime around black holes and developing tests of Einstein’s general relativity and modified gravity models. He has published fifty articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as five books, including the monograph Singularity Theory and Gravitational Lensing, the textbook An Introduction to Mathematical Finance with Applications, and three problem-solving books on mathematics and scientific reasoning.

Prior to joining NYU, Petters was Benjamin Powell Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Duke University, Dean of Academic Affairs for Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Duke, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, and Instructor of Pure Mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty

Michael Ang

Michael Ang

Michael Ang is Assistant Professor of Practice of Interactive Media. He holds a BAS from the University of Waterloo and an MPS from NYU Tisch.

Ang is an artist and engineer who creates light objects, interactive installations, and technological tools that expand the possibilities of human expression and connection. Applying a hacker’s aesthetic, he often repurposes existing technology to create human-centered experiences in public space and the open field. He is the co-inventor of the Infl3ctor, the projection system for Digital Calligraffiti and his work has been shown internationally at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, ISEA, Media Architecture Biennale, transmediale, White Wall Beirut, Gray Area Foundation For The Arts, Art Hack Day, NASA Ames Research Center, SPEKTRUM Berlin, Urban Media Art Academy, Calligrafreaks, Citilab Cornellà, and many other places.

Prior to joining NYU, Ang was a self-employed media artist and an iOS App Engineer, as well as an independent contractor at Jetson Creative in San Francisco, California.

Sun-Hee Bae

Sun-Hee Bae

Sun-Hee Bae is Lecturer of Writing. She holds a B.A. in French Language and Literature and English Language and Literature from Ewha Womans [sic] University, and an A.M. and Ph.D. in Linguistics from Harvard University.

Bae is a linguist who has studied theoretical phonology and syntax and received training in experimental design and statistical analysis of linguistic data. Her research interests lie in experimental linguistics, language acquisition, and comparative linguistics, with focus on the areas of phonetics, phonology, syntax, and the interfaces thereof.

Prior to joining NYU, Bae taught in the Department of English at the American University of Sharjah and in the Department of Linguistics and at the Institute for English Language Programs at Harvard University. She has received the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching and the The Bok Center Teaching Certificate from the Harvard University Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.

Mounther Barakat

Mounther Barakat

Mounther Barakat is Professor of Practice of Finance. He earned his Ph.D. in Finance from Oklahoma State University, an MBA from Annajah National University, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from San Francisco State University.

A chartered financial analyst and a member of the CFA Institute, Barakat is a certified financial risk manager and anti-money laundry specialist. He is also a chartered alternative investment analyst and a member of the CAIA Association. His areas of expertise are finance for graduates and undergraduates, financial training for executives, and writing securities regulations. He prepared the Islamic Capital Market strategy for the SCA and has authored articles for International Business and Economics Research Journal, Journal of International Finance and Economics, and the Journal of International Business Strategy, as well as a book, Determinants for Corporate Borrowing in the Arab World.

Prior to joining NYU, Barakat taught traditional and Islamic finance courses at the University of Houston, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State in the US, KFUPM in Saudi, and NYU Abu Dhabi. He also worked as a freelance consultant for many institutions, including the Government of Dubai, and the Palestine Securities Exchange, and the Islamic Society of the Greater Houston Area, among others.

Karam Fayad

Karam Fayad

Karam Fayad is Associate Lecturer of Mathematics. He holds a B.S. from Lebanese University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Sorbonne Université.

Fayad’s research interests include representation theory and number theory. His Ph.D. research focused on proving several abstract criteria for semisimplicity of representations of profinite groups, with applications to Shimura varieties. He has been published in the American Journal of Mathematics and delivered talks at the Institut de Mathématiques de Bordeaux, the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, and École Normale Supérieure - Lyons.

Prior to joining NYU, Fayad taught in France at CY Tech, previously EISTI Engineering School, the Euro-American campus of Sciences Po, and Sorbonne Université.

Sabyn Javeri Jillani

Sabyn Javeri Jillani

Sabyn Javeri Jillani is Senior Lecturer of Writing. She holds a Ph.D. from Leicester University, an M.St. from Oxford University, and a B.A. in English Language and Humanities from St. Joseph’s College in Karachi, Pakistan.

Jillani’s research interests include postcolonial feminism, South Asian literature, and creative writing. She is the author of Hijabistan and the novel Nobody Killed Her, and has edited two anthologies of student writing, The Arzu Anthology of Student Voices. Her writings have been published in the South Asian Review, London Magazine, Wasafiri, Oxonian Review, Trespass, World Literature, Economic Political Weekly, Guardian, Newsweek, and Newsline, amongst other publications. Her short fiction has been widely anthologized and she has won the Oxonian Review short story prize and has been shortlisted for the Tibor Jones, Meridian, Leaf Books, JLF, Adab and Publishing Next awards.  

Prior to joining NYU, Jillani was an Assistant Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the Arzu Center, Habib University, Karachi.