PAAIA Congratulates Dr. Cumrun Vafa on His Election to the National Academy of Sciences
May 06, 2009
Dr. Cumrun Vafa, Donner Professor of Science at Harvard University, was elected as a new member of The National Academy of Sciences on April 28, 2009. Members are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.
The NAS is a private organization of scientist and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. It was established in 1863 by the Congressional Act of Incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls on the Academy to act as a n official advisor to the federal government in matters of science and technology.
Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist or engineer. The academy’s membership is comprised of approximately 2,100 members and 380 foreign associates, of whom nearly 200 have won Nobel Prizes.
Dr. Vafa teaches and does research on theoretical physics. His main area of research is string theory, which aims to uncover the fundamental laws of nature from the smallest subatomic scales to the largest cosmological scales. String theory is one of the most mathematical and abstract areas of physics. Dr. Vafa’s contributions involve relating geometrical aspects of spacetime with fundamental forces of natures. He is well known for his work on quantum aspects of black holes.
Dr. Vafa came to the US for continuation of his education, having studied at Alborz High School in Tehran, Iran. He earned his B.S. at MIT in mathematics and physics in 1981 and his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1985. He came to Harvard in 1985 as a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of fellows and has been on the Harvard faculty since 1988.
Dr. Vafa is a member of PAAIA and served on the organization’s interim Board of Directors (2007-2008). PAAIA congratulates Dr. Vafa on his election and his many exceptional accomplishments and wishes him even further success.
Additional information about the Academy and its members is available online at http://www.nasonline.org.