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IU professors Istrabadi, Nosofsky and Temam named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 22, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington faculty members Feisal Amin Rasoul Istrabadi, Robert M. Nosofsky and Roger M. Temam have been selected for membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

Istrabadi is founding director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and professor of practice of international law and diplomacy in the Maurer School of Law and in the School of Global and International Studies. Nosofsky is Distinguished Professor and Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. Temam is director of the Institute for Scientific Computing and Applied Mathematics and Distinguished Professor and College Professor in the Department of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Outstanding scholars and researchers are the essential element of every world-class university, and Professors Istrabadi, Nosofsky and Temam are without question among the most distinguished and accomplished members of the Indiana University faculty,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. “All have received international acclaim for their work, and their selection for membership in the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences is well deserved.”

One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to academy publications and studies of policy, international affairs, the humanities, arts and education.

The 2015 class includes winners of the Nobel Prize and the Pulitzer Prize; MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships; and Grammy, Emmy, Oscar and Tony awards. Among the members are scientists and mathematicians, social scientists, scholars of the humanities, artists and musicians, journalists, public affairs experts and leaders of businesses and cultural, philanthropic and education organizations.

“We are honored to elect a new class of extraordinary women and men to join our distinguished membership,” said Don Randel, chair of the academy’s board of directors. “Each new member is a leader in his or her field and has made a distinct contribution to the nation and the world. We look forward to engaging them in the intellectual life of this vibrant institution.”

Istrabadi focuses his research on the processes of building legal and political institutions in countries in transition from dictatorship to democracy. He brings a multidisciplinary approach to studying the emergence of constitutionalism, including questions of timing and legitimacy, issues of transitional justice and factors that influence democratization. He lectures often at universities and policy institutes and appears frequently in national and international media. He served as ambassador and deputy permanent representative of Iraq to the United Nations from 2004 to 2007. Prior to that, he was a legal advisor to the Iraqi minister for foreign affairs and principal legal drafter of Iraq’s interim constitution. He is an alumnus of IU Bloomington and the Maurer School of Law.

Nosofsky studies the way people perceive, categorize, classify, remember and decide about the objects around them. A main theme of his research involves studying relations between categorization and other fundamental cognitive processes. Considered to be among the leading figures in cognitive science and experimental psychology for his groundbreaking research in categorization, he received awards from the Society of Mathematical Psychology, the American Psychological Association and the National Academy of Sciences and is a member of the Society of Experimental Psychologists.

Temam is credited with defining the domain of discourse in several large areas of applied mathematics, including numerical computation of fluid flows, slow dynamics and inertial manifolds, turbulence theory, and climate modeling. Described as “among the five best and most influential applied mathematicians alive today,” he is one of the top experts in mathematical models for climatology and a leading expert worldwide in nonlinear partial differential equations and their applications. He has received numerous international honors and awards and is a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Mathematical Society. 

Others with IU connections who were selected for membership include federal appellate judge Morris Sheppard Arnold, who was a professor at the Maurer School of Law from 1971-1977; author A’Lelia Bundles, who received an honorary degree from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in 2003; and Timothy Feddersen, professor at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, who received a B.A. in mathematics from IU Bloomington in 1985.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1780 by prominent figures in the American War of Independence, led by John Adams and James Bowdoin. It has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th century and Margaret Mead and Martin Luther King Jr. in the 20th century. The new class will be inducted Oct. 10 in Cambridge, Mass.