head and shoulder shot of women with dark shoulder length hair, man with long blond hair in ponytail and many with dark beard and cap.
Winners of the Dean's Faculty Fellowship (from left) Georgia Zellou, Tucker Jones and Mairaj Syed will give talks about their research in April and May.

Inaugural Winners of Dean’s Faculty Fellowships Give Talks

The first three recipients of the UC Davis College of Letters and Science Dean’s Faculty Fellowships will give talks about the research they have been conducting with support from the fellowship. All talks are online and begin at 4 p.m.

The three-year fellowships are part of the College of Letters and Science Faculty Investment Initiative to support early faculty research excellence and development. Each three-year fellowship provides a faculty member with $22,500 and is supported entirely by private funding.

Georgia Zellou

Associate Professor of Linguistics

"Talking Tech: How Do Interactions With Voice-AI Influence Human Speech?" — April 5

Zellou has conducted innovative research on phonetic variation, examining the influence of interactions with voice-artificial intelligence via digital devices on speech and language patterns. She is comparing the degree of linguistic alignment of children and adults with voice-AI during human-device interaction and examines whether the nature of language alignment occurs along similar social dimensions as it does in human-human alignment. Her work includes designing a voice-AI system that can adapt to users’ voice patterns and testing its role on human behavior. Register for Zellou's talk.

Tucker Jones

Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

"Cosmic Magnifying Glasses: A Gravitationally Lensed View of the Universe" — April 19

Jones is an observational astronomer and expert on the formation and evolution of galaxies, and focuses on galaxy formation during the peak epoch of star formation. His research uses new probes and gravitational lensing, which magnifies the apparent size and brightness of distant galaxies seen in the early universe and allows sensitive measurements that are otherwise impossible with current technology. Register for Jones' talk.

Mairaj Syed

Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Director of the Medieval and Modern Studies Program

"Computational Analysis of Ancient Islamic Literature (Hadith)" — May 17

Syed's research focuses on Islamic legal and ethical thought. His work applies computational methods to the study of hadiths, sayings attributed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The hadiths number in the hundreds of thousands, and large-scale data analysis on their provenance and authenticity has not been possible. The research will make available a comprehensive resource on when and where hadiths came into being and how they were transmitted. It will also introduce a system which could be replicated by scholars in other disciplines. Register for Syed's talk.

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science


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