New Faculty 2021-2022

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

Korhan Kocak

Korhan Kocak

Korhan Kocak is Assistant Professor of Political Science. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Sabanci University and a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Kocak’s research focuses on mass political behavior, including voting and social movements, using formal theory, social choice theory, empirical methods, and experiments. His work has appeared in the British Journal of Political Science and Comparative Political Studies and has been funded by Princeton University's Research Program in Political Economy.

Prior to his current appointment, Kocak was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Politics at NYU.

Bedoor AlShebli

Bedoor AlShebli

Bedoor AlShebli is Assistant Professor of Computational Social Science. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Kuwait University, an M.Sc. in Computer Science from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Engineering from the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (part of Khalifa University).

AlShebli's research focuses on using data science techniques to study social phenomena, with a particular emphasis in Science of Science. She is interested in the social and economic benefits of diversity, as well as the dynamics of social interaction and cohesion, and frames social science problems in the contexts of data science, big data, and machine learning. Her work has appeared in major academic journals, including Nature Communications, Science Advances, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Cumulatively, her work contributes to the fields of computational social science, data science, and machine learning.

Prior to joining NYU, AlShebli was a postdoctoral fellow and visiting scholar in computer science at Khalifa University. In 2016, she was a visiting scholar at MIT Media Lab, and from 2013-2017 she was a research assistant at the Masdar Institute at Khalifa University.

Riyadh Baghdadi

Riyadh Baghdadi

Riyadh Baghdadi is Assistant Professor of Computer Science. He holds a B.Eng. from the École National Supérieure de l'Informatique,  and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in  Université Paris 4 Sorbonne.

Baghdadi works on the intersection of compilers and applied machine learning. More precisely, he uses machine learning to develop compilers that take high-level code and optimize it automatically to generate highly efficient code. He also works on developing techniques to accelerate deep learning training and inference (e.g., by exploiting DNN weight sparsity). This enables the use of sophisticated DNN models in platforms with limited computational resources (i.e. smartphones, driverless cars).

Prior to joining NYU, Baghdadi was a postdoctoral fellow at MIT, where he developed the Tiramisu compiler for deep learning, image processing, and scientific computing.

Soo Jin Kim

Soo Jin Kim

Soo Jin Kim is Assistant Professor of Political Science. She holds a B.A. from Rice University, an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge, and a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Kim’s primary research interest lies at the intersection of political theory and public policy. Her current work examines the normative question of whether the state can permissibly limit individual citizens’ self-regarding conduct to prevent harm to themselves in a liberal society, and if so, how such limits should be determined and reflected in public policy. She also has interests in normative issues concerning pluralism and moral conflicts in modern societies. Specifically, Kim is interested in how to determine when adequate recognition of cultural and religious pursuits requires legal exemptions or accommodations. Her work has appeared in the European Journal of Philosophy, among other publications.

Prior to her current appointment, Kim was a postdoctoral associate at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Benjamin Laughlin

Benjamin Laughlin

Benjamin Laughlin is Assistant Professor of Political Science. He holds a B.A. from the University of Washington, and an M.A and a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.

Laughlin studies political violence and identity. His current projects focus on the behavior of non-state actors and civilians during conflict, examining why groups fight over territory, how refugees decide to flee, and how conflict affects identities. His work leverages evidence from a variety of sources, including archival and administrative records, geographic and remote sensing data, and field experiments.

Prior to joining NYU, Laughlin was a Predoctoral Fellow at Perry World House, University of Pennsylvania.

Jordan Norris

Jordan Norris

Jordan Norris is Assistant Professor of Economics. He holds a B.A. and an M.S. from the University of Cambridge and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from  Northwestern University.

Norris’ research interests are broadly in spatial economics, understanding how regional disparities affect macroeconomic outcomes, and how we can utilize this variation for more credible econometric identification.

Prior to joining NYU, Norris was a postdoctoral fellow in Aarhus University’s Firms and Industry Dynamics (FIND) research center.  In the past, he was a teaching assistant at Northwestern University, where he taught courses on economics, econometrics, and international finance.

Minsu Park

Minsu Park

Minsu Park is Assistant Professor of Social Research and Public Policy. He holds a B.S. from Hongik University, an M.Sc. from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Park works in computational social science with a specialization in the consumption of culture, production of creative work, and social networks. His current research focuses on how informational and normative cues interact with an individual's preference to make a certain decision and how cultural preferences change over time—individually and globally. He mainly uses computational techniques and various digital traces (from large-scale social media and streaming data to physiological signals captured from a custom smartwatch app) to model and understand cultural consumption and production behaviors. His research inhabits an interdisciplinary nexus between data science and social science, simultaneously drawing on and contributing to both. His work has been published in computer and information science conferences (e.g., ICWSM) and interdisciplinary journals (e.g., Nature Human Behaviour).

Prior to joining NYU, Park was a research assistant at Social Dynamics Lab, Cornell University.

Khalil Ramadi

Khalil Ramadi

Khalil Ramadi is Assistant Professor of Bioengineering. He holds a B.S. from The Pennsylvania State University, an M.Sc. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from Harvard - MIT’s Health Science and Technology Division.

Ramadi’s research interests center around novel technologies for neuroengineering and targeted therapeutics. He served as director of MIT Hacking Medicine, an initiative dedicated to enhancing healthcare entrepreneurship. He has been named a 2020 TED Fellow, MIT Sandbox Innovation Fellow and Innovation Fellow, and a Koch Institute Convergence Scholar.

Prior to joining NYU, Ramadi was a NIH F32 Ruth Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Andrea Vial

Andrea Vial

Andrea Vial is Assistant Professor of Psychology. She holds a B.A. from CUNY-Hunter College and a Ph.D. from Yale University.

Vial is a social psychologist focused on understanding and addressing gender segregation in the workplace and beyond. Why do men and women flock to different roles? What are the psychological processes behind gender employment discrimination? And what are the conditions under which individuals in non-normative roles and domains can thrive? To answer these questions, Vial takes an interdisciplinary approach drawing from social-psychological, sociological, organizational, and developmental perspectives. A common thread is a focus on the interplay between beliefs about roles (i.e., what traits are viewed as required for success in a given domain) and beliefs about groups (i.e., group stereotypes). Her work has been published in various top journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and Journal of Applied Psychology.

Prior to her current appointment, Vial completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at NYU’s Cognitive Development Lab, working to understand the developmental roots of gender gaps in leadership ambition.

Torsten Figueiredo Walter

Torsten Figueiredo Walter

Torsten Figueiredo Walter is Assistant Professor of Economics.  He holds a B.S. from Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms Universität Bonn, and an M.Res. and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Walter’s primary field of expertise is development and his research focuses on the provision of public services in low- and middle-income countries. He typically works directly with governments in these countries, which allows him to leverage administrative data for research and to quickly feed his findings back to relevant policymakers.

Prior to joining NYU, Walter was a postdoctoral researcher at Precision Agriculture for Development and worked as a consultant for the World Bank.

Associate Professors

Marwa Chafii

Marwa Chafii

Marwa Chafii is Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She holds a Master's in Advanced Wireless Communication Systems from CentraleSupélec and a Ph.D. in Wireless Communications from CentraleSupélec, Paris-Saclay University, both in France.

Chafii’s research interests include advanced waveform design, machine learning for wireless communications, and indoor localization. Since 2019, she has served as Associate Editor at IEEE Communications Letters, where she received the Best Editor Award in 2020. She is currently vice-chair of the IEEE ComSoc ETI on Machine Learning for Communications, leading the Education working group of the ETI on Integrated Sensing and Communications, research lead at Women in AI, and managing the Gender Committee of the AI4EU community.

Prior to joining NYU, Chafii was an Associate Professor at ENSEA, France, where she held a Chair of Excellence on Artificial Intelligence from CY Initiative. She received the prize of the best Ph.D. in France in the fields of Signal, Image & Vision, and she has been nominated in the top 10 Rising Stars in Computer Networking and Communications by N2Women in 2020.

Professors

Konstantinos Kyriakopoulos

Konstantinos Kyriakopoulos

Konstantinos (Kostas) Kyriakopoulos is Professor of Electrical Engineering. He holds a Master’s in Computer and Systems Engineering and a Ph.D. in Computer and Systems Engineering, both from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Kyriakopoulos’s research interests include real time embedded control systems and robotics with emphasis on multi-agent autonomous systems (ground, marine, aerial). His current interest is in decentralized interaction control of hybrid autonomous systems. He is the specialty chief editor for Frontiers in Robotics and AI, senior editor of IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, and he serves in the editorial committees of a number of publications, in addition to serving as an administrative member of a number of international conferences. He has directed 40 research projects funded by the EC and Greek Sources and he is an IEEE Fellow. He has published around 330 papers to journals and fully refereed international conferences.

Prior to joining NYU, Kyriakopoulos served as faculty at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the National Technical University of Athens. Kyriakopoulos was awarded the G.Samaras award of academic excellence, the Bodosakis Foundation Fellowship, the Alexander Onassis Foundation Fellowship, and the Alexander Von Humboldt Fellowship.

Jon Sprouse

Jon Sprouse

Jon Ryan Sprouse is Professor of Psychology. He holds an A.B. in Linguistics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

Sprouse is an experimental syntactician. His research starts from two working hypotheses: that there is an underlying combinatorics to human language syntax, and that this combinatorics is implemented in the human brain. His research seeks to explore the hypothesis space of possible combinatorial systems that is proposed in theoretical syntax, and to use methods from experimental syntax to collect evidence that can shift probability mass around in that hypothesis space, such as acceptability judgments, EEG, fMRI, and even computational modeling. His work has been recognized by the Linguistic Society of America with the award for the best paper in Language (2012), the Early Career award (2013), and the inaugural C. L. Baker (mid-career) award (2020).

Prior to joining NYU, Sprouse was an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Connecticut.

Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty

Khulood Alawadi

Khulood Alawadi

Khulood Alawadi is Lecturer of Engineering Design. She holds a BID from Carleton University, an M.A. from the Royal College of Art, London and an M.Sc. from Imperial College London.

Alawadi is an interdisciplinary designer passionate about working at the intersections of design with science, engineering, and society, and exploring tools for merging them. She is committed to recontextualising design for communities and environments that are seldom designed for, motivated by personal experiences and world events. Her IDE group project, “Fallback: Designing of Global Internet Shutdowns,” has been featured in multiple publications including Dezeen, Creative Applications, and ACM Interaction, and was awarded the Core77 Student Notable in the Design for Social Impact category. In the RCA x CERN Grand Challenge collaboration, her group project, "KALA: A cross-cultural language game," was a finalist in the Social and Economic Disparities category.

Prior to joining NYU, Alawadi was a Creative Resident at Palmwood, Dubai. She has worked as a designer, maker and communicator for science research institutes, cultural organisations, and healthcare providers.

Elena Beretta

Elena Beretta

Elena Beretta is Clinical Professor of Mathematics. She holds an M.S. from the University of Milan.

Her research interests focus mainly on the study of inverse problems for partial differential equations with applications to geophysics, seismology, medical imaging, and non-destructive testing of materials. She has directed several research projects and has been invited as the plenary speaker in several conferences.

Prior to joining NYU, Beretta was Associate Professor at Politecnico di Milano, Milan. She has taught in several Italian universities, including "La Sapienza" in Rome and the University of Florence. She has also conducted research in the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, California, the Mittag-Leffler Institute in Stockholm, the Schroedinger Institute in Wien, École Normale Supérieure in Paris and Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Moumena Chaqfeh

Moumena Chaqfeh

Moumena Chaqfeh is Lecturer of Computer Science.  She holds an M.Sc. from The British University in Dubai, and a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. from United Arab Emirates University.

Chaqfeh’s research focuses on large-scale networks, including the World Wide Web and vehicular networks. She is currently working on accelerating web pages for users who can only afford low-end phones. Additionally, she is exploring different challenges in mixed traffic environments where conventional vehicles interact with autonomous vehicles that will exploit real roads in the near future. Additionally, she is interested in information and communication technologies for development.

Prior to her current appointment, Chaqfeh was a research associate at New York University Abu Dhabi in the ComNets lab - Computer Science. She has worked on several research projects at the Roadway, Transportation, and Traffic Safety Research Center.

Pauline Rutsaert

Pauline Rutsaert

Pauline Rutsaert is Associate Professor of Practice of Economics. She holds a B.A. and M.A. from the Université Catholique de Louvain and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Her expertise is in the fields of industrial organisation, especially competition and regulatory economics, industrial and strategic trade policy, innovation, and R&D. Her teaching experience is in industrial economics and policy and microeconomics.

Prior to joining NYU, she worked in the Netherlands and in the United Kingdom. She started her career in the Netherlands as a postgraduate research fellow at the Tinbergen Institute and then moved on as a consultant at the Netherlands Economic Institute. In the United Kingdom, she worked as Senior Economic Advisor at the Office of Communications and as a Research Leader at RAND Europe. Since 2013, she has been a Fellow and College Lecturer at Homerton College, University of Cambridge, teaching microeconomics and industrial organization and holding director of studies and tutor responsibilities.

Mikhail Xifaras

Mikhail Xifaras

Mikhail Xifaras is Professor of Legal Studies. He holds an M.A. from the Université Paris X Nanterre, a B.Phil, LLB, LLM and an M.Phil from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and a Ph.D. from the Université de Franche-Comté.

Xifaras is a legal theorist and historian of legal thought. He has been Professor of Public Law at Sciences Po, where he headed the doctoral program from 2009 to 2018 and taught legal philosophy, property, and jurisprudence. He has published extensively on the theory of property, history of modern legal thought, legal theory, and political philosophy.

Prior to joining NYU, Xifaras has been a regular Visiting Professor at Harvard Law school, Keio School of Law, Bruchman Law School, Tel Aviv University, and New York University Abu Dhabi.

Dania Zantout

Dania Zantout

Dania Zantout is Lecturer of Mathematics. She holds an M.S. from the American University of Beirut and a Ph.D. from Clemson University.

Zantout’s research interests lie broadly in the theory of automorphic forms and their L- functions, which is an ideal meeting ground for analytical, algebraic, and geometrical techniques. In particular, her work uses the geometry of moduli spaces in order to analytically describe cuspidal liftings from spaces of elliptic modular forms to spaces of Siegel modular forms. She has a wealth of experience teaching a wide variety of math courses. Her teaching pedagogy focuses on the implementation of research-informed instructional practices and evidence-based techniques in the successful delivery of content that ensure effective transfer of knowledge. She is enthusiastic about developing math outreach activities to serve the university and the community vision towards STEM excellence.

Prior to joining NYU, Zantout was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Clemson University.