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College of Science Faculty Promoted and Tenured


Xiaofan Li, interim dean of the College of Science, announced faculty promotions and new tenures this week effective beginning the academic year 2019–20. They include Aron Culotta and Kevin Jin of the Department of Computer Science, David Minh of the Department of Chemistry, Jean-FrançoisPombert of the Department of Biology, and Jeff Wereszczynski of the Department of Physics, all of whom will be promoted to associate professor with tenure, and Richard Guan will be promoted to full professor of chemistry. The following are some highlights of their achievements.

Aron Culotta joined the Department of Computer Science as an assistant professor in 2013. Culotta’s research is in the area of artificial intelligence with a focus on natural language processing and machine learning. Since joining Illinois Tech, he has established a strong track record in research, including publishing papers in top journals and at extremely selective conferences. Furthermore, he has been awarded multiple grants, including one as the principal investigator of two National Science Foundation grants, and was also a Phase I finalist for Nayar Prize II. 

Xiyun “Richard” Guan, an associate professor of chemistry, arrived at Illinois Tech in 2013 and since then has maintained continuous funding and has been consistently published in high-quality journals. Guan is recognized as one of the worldwide leaders in nanopore sensing, and he has been extremely successful in securing external funding from a variety of funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

 Dong “Kevin” Jin joined the Department of Computer Science as an assistant professor in 2014. Jin’s research is in the area of simulation and modeling with a focus on resilient and/or safe cyber-physical systems with a specific application to grid/energy infrastructure. His publication and external funding records are excellent. He received an Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program Award in 2017. 

David Minh joined Illinois Tech as an assistant professor in 2013. Minh is well respected in the community and considered to be a rising star in the field of theoretical and computational chemistry. Minh will become a leader on the Illinois Tech campus in the growing interdisciplinary area of scientific computation, developing cross-departmental collaborations, which will strengthen the research climate at the university.

 Jean-François Pombert joined Illinois Tech as an assistant professor in 2013. Pombert has developed an international reputation in bioinformatics, particularly in regard to sequencing and sequence annotation. He has applied those sciences toward specific problems involving both bacterial and eukaryotic pathogens. Pombert has been successful in obtaining external funding for his research throughout his time at Illinois Tech. He also developed the B.S. degree in bioinformatics, and is contributing to build the computational genomics specialization within the M.S. program in biology.

 Jeff Wereszczynski joined Illinois Tech as an assistant professor in 2013. Wereszczynski focuses on using and developing theoretical chemistry and biophysical techniques to discern the physical basis of biological phenomena. He has an exemplary track record of research productivity and funding in computational biophysics, teaching, and service. He received an National Institutes of Health Career Transition Award (2013–15) and an National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2016.