Xiaofan Li, interim dean of the College of Science and Professor of Applied Mathematics recently honored five people with Dean’s Excellence Awards. The Dean’s Excellence Awards were presented during an end of year celebration for the college. The celebration took place in the new home of the College of Science in the renovated suites 252 and 248 on the second floor of the Robert A. Pritzker Science Center.
Staff Award: Rosemarie “Cookie” Ruggiero, Graduate Admission Coordinator, Computer Science
Cookie Ruggiero has 42 years of service with the Department of Computer Science. She adds a personal touch in helping students, and has a wall filled with pictures of alumni who continue to visit and correspond with her. Ruggiero’s work on computer science graduate admissions along with her thoughtful remembrance of birthdays and special occasions has been invaluable to the department through many years and many changes.
Teaching Award: Gayle Ratliff, Adjunct Professor of Physics
Gayle Ratliff has been teaching at Illinois Tech since Spring of 2016 and was a teaching assistant while completing her Ph.D. in Physics here at Illinois Tech in 2015. Beyond outstanding course evaluations, Ratliff’s record is distinguished by the crowds of students on the waiting list for her courses and in her office hours, and by her painstaking revision of the FlipIt Physics materials used in the flipped-model classroom for Physics 123 and 221. Ratliff’s service has extended beyond the classroom to include advising the Women in Science Project student organization, and connecting students to REU’s and astrophysics research positions.
Senior Research Award: Chun Liu, Chair, Department of Applied Mathematics and Professor of Applied Mathematics
Chun Liu joined Illinois Tech in 2017. He is an authority in interdisciplinary applied math research. In addition to publishing in top mathematics journals, he has also published many papers in journals such as the Physical Review Letters, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, the Journal of Chemical Physics, Physics of Fluids, and the Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics. Recently, Liu’s work on non-Isothermal Electrokinetics is going to appear in the top mathematics journal Communications in Mathematical Sciences. Currently, his research is being supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF).
Junior Research Award: Bryce Littlejohn, Assistant Professor of Physics
Bryce Littlejohn joined Illinois Tech in 2014 as an Assistant Professor of Physics. His Experimental Neutrino Physics group at Illinois Tech has led 11 publications since his arrival, with 5 of these in the past year, including the first physics publication from the $4 million PROSPECT experiment to measure electron-type antineutrinos emitted by a nuclear reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He also works on two liquid argon neutrino interaction detection experiments at Fermilab. Littlejohn has supervised graduate students, a postdoctoral researcher, and also three undergraduates who have contributed to three major publications.
Junior Research Award: David Minh, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
David Minh joined Illinois Tech in 2013 as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and is an outstanding scholar in the field of theoretical chemistry and computational chemical biology. He has developed novel physical theories and computational methods for binding free energy calculations and applied them to simulations of complex biological systems and the efficient design of precision medicine. While at Illinois Tech Minh has published 16 papers, and is a principal investigator on 2 major National Institute of Health (NIH) grants. His Computational Chemical Biology research group has included 2 postdocs, 9 graduate students, 6 longer-term undergraduates, and numerous undergraduate summer interns and high school students. Minh has also incorporated his research into 4 IPRO courses.