mug shots of four faculty membrers.
Pictured, from left: Gerardo Con Diaz, Evgeny Gorskiy, Mijke Rhemtulla and Jaroslav Trnka.

Faculty Members Honored With Chancellor’s Fellowships

Four faculty members in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science have been named Chancellor’s Fellows for excellence in research, teaching and service.

The college's newest fellows include an expert on intellectual property in the digital age; a scholar examining how mathematical knot theory can be used to understand natural phenomena; a psychologist studying the interface between research questions and statistical models; and a specialist using geometries to understand the interactions between subatomic particles.

The fellows are:

They are among 12 faculty members selected university-wide for the fellowship that carries a $25,000 award. The UC Davis Annual Fund, Davis Chancellor’s Club and UC Davis Parents Fund have provided unrestricted philanthropic support to each of the fellows for research or other scholarly work.

Gerardo Con Diaz

Professor Con Diaz studies how law and policy shape the digital world. His research examines the history of computing and the role of intellectual property law in forming digital technologies. He is the author of the prize-winning book Software Rights: How Patent Law Transformed Software Development in America. He is currently at work on a book about copyright in the internet era. 

“Professor Con Diaz is a veritable force of nature as a scholar, teacher and innovator.” — Estella A. Atekwana, dean, College of Letters and Science, UC Davis

Evgeny “Eugene” Gorskiy

Professor Gorskiy’s work crosses multiple fields of mathematics. As a doctoral student at Moscow State University, he applied tools from algebraic geometry, which deals with curves and parabolas, to knot theory, which studies how curves can be tangled or untangled by crossing over each other. Knot theory can be used to describe a wide variety of natural phenomena, from the paths of subatomic particles or how DNA is packaged in a cell to the shapes of solar flares.

“Professor Gorskiy typically combines techniques from two or more areas in novel ways. It has enabled him to obtain results that push mathematics forward in new directions.” — Dean Atekwana

Mijke Rhemtulla

Associate Professor Rhemtulla is a quantitative psychologist who studies the interface between psychological research questions and the statistical models that are used to answer them. Her work examines how observed measurements of psychological concepts can be linked to statistical representations of those concepts, and what goes wrong when popular methods are applied incorrectly.

“Professor Rhemtulla has developed an innovative and impactful research program and has an outstanding publication record. She is an effective and involved teacher and mentor and is a generous and committed citizen of our department, the campus and her field.” —  Dean Atekwana

Jaroslav Trnka

Associate Professor Trnka specializes in elegant geometries that help us understand interactions between elementary (subatomic) particles — such as quarks and the Higgs boson — that are the building blocks of everything in nature. His work focuses on scattering amplitudes, a type of mathematical object for computing the probabilities that different particles will interact. The results give theoretical predictions for the results of real-world experiments such as those at the Large Hadron Collider.

“It is very rare to have contributed in such a groundbreaking manner so early in a theoretical physics research career.” — Dean Atekwana


— Adapted by Jeffrey Day, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, from an article in Dateline UC Davis