New STEM Faculty 2015

School of STEM welcomes new faculty

Published: June 19, 2015

The University of Washington Bothell School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics will welcome 16 new faculty to the school starting fall 2015. There were more than 800 applicants for the 16 faculty positions.

Division of Biological Sciences

Dr. Thelma Madzima, Assistant Professor – Cell and Molecular Biology
Dr. Madzima comes to us from the Department of Biological Science at Florida State University, where she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Maize Genetics, Epigenetics and Genomics. She was also a Graduate Research Fellow in the Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology (PMCB) Program in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at the University of Florida, where she received her Ph.D. in Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2009. The long-term goal of her research program is to understand how epigenetic mechanisms facilitate responses to abiotic stress in plants, using maize as her model organism. Dr. Madzima’s work has resulted in five journal publications, one book chapter, and five conference proceedings. She was a University of Florida Alumni Graduate Fellowship Recipient, and the Fort Valley State University Agricultural Student of the year. She also received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Minorities in Undergraduate Education Research Fellowship. She is active in the Maize Genetics Society, and she is very dedicated to science outreach and the mentoring of undergraduate students in her research activities. We look forward to her contributions to our biology program at UW Bothell.

Dr. Doug Wacker, Assistant Professor – Animal Behavior - Neuroscience
Dr. Wacker received his Ph.D. in Neurobiology & Behavior from the University of Washington in 2007. Since that time he has been an Adjunct Professor at Seattle University, a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Integrative Physiology at the University of Edinburgh, a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Colgate University, a Research Fellow in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan, and a Lecturer at the University of Washington Bothell. His research interests include social behavior of free-living vertebrates, hormone/brain interactions and behavior, nonapeptide regulation of social behavior, and animal communication. He has 13 peer reviewed publications and 14 conference presentations and proceedings. He has been very active in mentoring undergraduate students in his research activities, with 12 mentees in the last year alone. As demonstration of his effectiveness and dedication, he was recently selected to receive the University of Washington Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. Many of his students are co-authors with Dr. Wacker in his publications and presentations. We welcome him in his new role at UW Bothell.

Division of Computing and Software Systems

Dr. Yang Peng, Assistant Professor – Computer Engineering
Dr. Peng is currently a software engineer for the Windows Azure Group at Microsoft. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Iowa State University in 2014, and his M.S. in Computer Science from Washington State University in 2008. His research was focused on system and protocol design for sustainable wireless sensor networks throughout his graduate studies. During this time, he was engaged in three research projects: (1) “Optimized Autonomous Space In-Situ Sensorweb” funded by NASA and USGS; (2) “Energy Replenishment for Wireless Sensor Networks” funded by the NSF; and (3) “Self-Sustainable Networking of Survivability-Heterogeneous Sensors” funded by the NSF. He has authored 14 journal publications or conference proceedings. His future research will focus on improvements in the sustainability of a broader range of cyber physical systems, such as underwater/underground sensor networks, body area networks with implantable sensors, and unmanned autonomous networks. He brings two major perspectives to his teaching philosophy: 1) leveraging experimental and theoretical studies, and 2) leveraging fundamental and frontier knowledge studies. In the first, he focuses on bringing real-world problems to the classroom, and in the second, he focuses on bringing state-of-the-art knowledge from academia and industry to the classroom. He will bring computer science and engineering together, and we welcome him to our faculty.

Dr. Marc Dupuis, Assistant Professor – Cyber Security
Dr. Dupuis is currently a Lecturer in Information Technology and Systems at UW Tacoma, where he was honored as a 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award nominee. He received his Ph.D. in Information Science at the University of Washington in 2014, with an emphasis on Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, and his M.S. in Information Science at UW in 2011. He also earned a Master of Public Administration at UW, and a M.A. in Political Science at Western Washington University. His research explores the information security behavior of home users, including antecedents, related behaviors and circumstances, as well as usable security and privacy. This is done through theoretically based survey research, experiments, interviews, and qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Additionally, he has conducted research on information security within organizations, as well as analyses of research methods often employed in this area. He has ten journal articles and conference presentations based on his research efforts. In the classroom, he emphasizes not only technical content, but also the professional development of the student, including how they interact with each other, presentation skills, communication, responsibility, and accountability. We welcome the breadth of knowledge he brings to UW Bothell.

Dr. Erika Fuentes Parsons, Senior Lecturer - Computer Science
Dr. Fuentes Parsons was at Microsoft (Common Language Runtime) from 2008 to 2013 before discovering her passion for teaching and joining the faculty at Everett Community College in 2013. At Microsoft, her responsibilities included the reliability and performance of the .NET Framework, where she developed and/or improved tools and test assets to ensure product quality, and designed technical specifications and requirements for the threading and core operating system product features of the .NET framework. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2007, and her M.S. in Computer Science in 2002 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her Ph.D. work focused on scientific computing, data mining, statistical analysis and machine learning, and linear algebra sparse libraries and algorithms. Her goal with regards to teaching is to prepare students to be independent and motivated learners, while interactively delivering the technical material that helps them achieve their academic goals. As part of this effort, she includes open-ended, student-driven projects as part of the curriculum and brings her experiences from industry into the classroom. Throughout all of her teaching, she focuses on being a team with the students where both have responsibilities for learning. She brings a zest for teaching coupled with practical industry experience to our computer science and software engineering programs.

Division of Engineering and Mathematics

Dr. Hung Cao, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering
Dr. Cao is currently a faculty member at the ETS Montreal in Quebec, Canada. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2012 and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2017 at the University of Texas, Arlington. Prior to attending the University of Texas, Arlington, he was a Lecturer at the Vietnam Maritime University. His research interests are focused on MEMS, BioMEMS, sensors, nanotechnology, wireless powering and integration systems for healthcare and biological science applications, and heart regeneration and cardiomorphogenesis using zebrafish and neonatal mice models, intravascular catheter-based sensing, and implantable microdevices and systems. He has 19 journal publications and ten key refereed conference proceedings. He plans to pursue research in two areas: 1) developing wearable devices and implants for health monitoring, diagnosis and prognosis; and, 2) developing innovative devices and systems for biological investigations and drug discoveries. He has taught a number of courses in Vietnam and at the University of Texas, Arlington. In all of his teaching, he actively seeks to engage the students in the learning process, regardless of what level they are at. He will be a great addition to our focus on medical devices in our engineering programs at UW Bothell.

Dr. Harry Aintablian, Lecturer – Electrical Engineering
Dr. Aintablian comes to UW Bothell with over 15 years of industry experience, specializing in electrical power systems/power electronics design, modeling and testing. He also has over seven years of experience in academia, teaching electrical engineering and technology courses. Most recently, he has worked as an electrical/power subsystem engineering for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Prior to that, he worked as a power systems engineering for the Boeing Company. Before working in industry, he was an assistant professor in electrical engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. He received his Ph.D. and his M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Ohio State University, and he also holds a M.B.A. from Pepperdine University. His move from industry to teaching was motivated by his desire to pass on to others what he has learned. The following four areas highlight his philosophy of teaching: 1) Balance between theory and practice (bringing real world projects to the classroom); 2) fostering collaborative learning (helping students to learn from each other); fostering diversity (consensus building, respect, and fostering cultural diversity); and 4) mentorship/advising (helping students in their professional development.) He will provide an outstanding interface with industry for our engineering faculty and students at UW Bothell.

Dr. Kaibao Nie, Lecturer – Electrical Engineering
Dr. Nie is currently a Lecturer in the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center. He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Otolaryngology at the University of California, Irvine. His research interests lie in biomedical instrumentation/bioelectronics, cochlear implants and vestibular implants, speech and biomedical signal processing, and applications of digital signal processors and microprocessors. He has over 20 journal publications, including a 2010 Outstanding Paper Award from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. He has taught a wide spectrum of electrical engineering courses from the fundamentals of electrical engineering to graduate courses in speech signal processing. His teaching philosophy is focused on three principles: 1) keeping students motivated in class learning (encouraging students to answer why, how, and what questions by making connections between abstract concepts and everyday life); 2) developing problem-solving skills (encouraging students to approach problems in different ways and justify their reasoning); and 3) learning through practice (including active learning through projects and interactive engagements). We appreciate the biomedical engineering expertise he brings to our faculty and students at UW Bothell.

Dr. Thomas Humphries, Assistant Professor – Mathematics
Dr. Humphries comes to UW Bothell from the Department of Mathematics at Oregon State University, where is a Postdoctoral Scholar. He completed his Ph.D. and his M.S. in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Simon Fraser University. After completing his Ph.D. in 2011, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Newfoundland, prior to his appointment at Oregon State. In his research, he applies mathematics to tangible, real-world problems, including iterative image reconstruction in tomography, derivative-free optimization, compressive sensing and inverse problems. His future research plans are focused on iterative image reconstruction in tomography and applied optimization for industrial problems. He has six refereed journal publications and 14 conference papers, presentations, and posters. He has taught several different courses at Oregon State, and has focused on demonstrating the relevance of concepts by bringing in real-life problems, using technology to illustrate important concepts, illustrating the importance of the process in solving problems, and clearly presenting material and communicating expectations. He will greatly add to our applied mathematical capabilities at UW Bothell.

Dr. Pietro Paparella, Assistant Professor – Mathematics
Dr. Paparella is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the College of William and Mary. He earned his Ph.D. in 2013 and his M.S. in Mathematics in 2003 from Washington State University. After completing his M.S., he was a Mathematics Instructor at North Idaho College and at Spokane Falls Community College. He also worked as a business analysis for Avista Corporation in Spokane, as a lead programmer/modeler. His research interests lie in nonnegative matrix theory and its generalizations, the theory of matrix functions, combinatorial matrix theory, and linear algebra education. He has two journal papers, four submitted papers, and seven presentations as a result of his work. He is also a NExT Fellow of the MD-DC-VA Section of Mathematical Association of America, a national program for recent mathematics Ph.Ds to provide mentoring and workshops on teaching and other aspects of the profession. As a professor of mathematics, he seeks to provide students with an enriching and transformational educational experience, by providing high-quality instruction, engaging mathematics majors in mathematical research projects, providing guidance to advisees and students so as to fulfill their academic and career ambitions, and pursuing scholarly activities commensurate with the university’s mission. We look forward to having him join with us at UW Bothell.

Dr. Rejoice Mudzimiri, Assistant Professor, Joint School of Education and E&M – Mathematics Education
Dr. Mudzimiri will hold a joint appointment in mathematics education in the School of Educational Studies (60%) and the Division of Engineering and Mathematics (40%). Rejoice is moving from her current position on the faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi. She earned her Ph.D. at Montana State University and also holds degrees from Bindura University of Science Education in Zimbabwe. Dr. Mudzimiri is an experienced math educator at high school and university levels and will be teaching in the secondary teacher education program in the School of Educational Studies and mathematics in the Division of Engineering and Mathematics. Dr. Mudzimiri's research interests include the use of technology to enhance mathematics instruction in K-16, preparing pre-service teachers to teach with technology and, instructional coaching in K-12 mathematics classrooms. We welcome her to the School of STEM and look forward to greater collaborations with the School of Educational Studies.

Dr. Ariana Dundon, Lecturer - Mathematics
Dr. Dundon was an Assistant Professor at Montgomery College, MD from 2010 to 2013, where she taught courses ranging from Math Prep to Differential Equations. There, she was also active in MathTalks, where she gave presentations on The Mathematics of Origami, A Brief History of Cryptography, and Parties and Pigeons. Since 2013 she has been a part-time Lecturer at the University of Washington, Bothell, where she has taught calculus. She received her Ph.D. in 2010 and her M.S. in 2006 in Mathematics at the University of Washington, Seattle. She believes that students learn best when they're engaging with the material, and so she structures her teaching around this principle by using many active and collaborative learning techniques in the classroom, incorporating group work into the curriculum, and designing interactive exercises to be interspersed in her lectures. She brings enthusiasm and a passion for the beauty and elegance of mathematics to UW Bothell.

Ms. Alex Musselman, Lecturer - Mathematics
Ms. Alex Musselman is completing her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education and earned her M.S. in Mathematics at Michigan State University. While completing her Ph.D., she was a visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Western Washington University for the 2014-15 academic year. She has three peer-reviewed conference papers, and has made seventeen presentations at local, regional, and national levels, including nine invited talks. She has taught college algebra, calculus and mathematics for elementary teachers, and has taught mathematics with various programs specifically designed to support students who are traditionally underserved and underrepresented within the educational system. Recently, she was recruited to participate in Change at the Core: A Collaborative Model for Undergraduate STEM Education Reform, with goals of improving teaching and learning within introductory undergraduate STEM courses, developing innovative and inclusive teaching methods, and increasing access to and success within STEM majors for students from underrepresented groups. Throughout her teaching, she strives to create and manage an effective and supportive classroom community to build a foundation for rich mathematical knowledge. She will be a great asset to our diverse student population at UW Bothell, and we welcome her to our faculty.

Dr. Clark Musselman, Lecturer - Mathematics
Dr. Clark Musselman is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Western Washington University, where he has been teaching physics and mathematics. Previously, he taught at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, where he taught a variety of mathematics courses from elementary functions to ordinary differential equations. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and a Certification in Teaching College Mathematics at Michigan State University in 2012. During that time, he taught classes ranging from college algebra to calculus. His dissertation was on Diffusion for Markov Wave Equations. He received his M.S. in Mathematics from Oregon State University in 2005. His primary goals as a mathematics teacher are to improve the confidence of his students by working through difficult ideas in supportive environments and, relatedly, to empower them to set high standards for themselves. Furthermore, he aims to instill in our students a sense of curiosity and commitment so that they may meet or exceed their personal goals both in college and after graduation.

Division of Physical Sciences

Dr. Hyung J. Kim, Assistant Professor – Analytical Chemistry
Dr. Kim has been a Research Associate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Utah since 2009. Prior to that, he was a Research Associate and a Postdoctoral Associate in Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota from 2003 to 2009. He earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Science with Honors (Analytical Chemistry) in 2003 and his M.S. with Honors (Microbiology) in 1999 at University of Kansas. With regards to research, using bioanalytical, biochemical, and genetic techniques, he plans to investigate how the cofactors heme and copper are trafficked to their target proteins. This includes investigation of lipid vesicle mediated transport of heme, and small molecule methanobactin-mediated transport for copper. He has sixteen journal publications based on his research. His teaching interests lie in environmental and bioanalytical chemistry, metals and cofactors in biology, principles of electrochemistry, and analytical methods in the biology of diseases, and he strives to share research data with students to teach chemical principles. His teaching philosophy is based on his firm belief that education is a great equalizer that can empower people regardless of their economic and social status. We look forward to his contributions to our chemistry program.

Dr. Heather M. Galindo, Lecturer – Science Writing
Dr. Galindo has served as the Assistant Director of Science for COMPASS, an organization with a mission to help scientists effectively share their knowledge in the public discourse and decision-making, since 2010. In this role, she has helped to connect science and scientists across a diverse range of topics and communication venues. She came to COMPASS following a postdoctoral position in Fisheries Genetics at the University of Washington, after receiving her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station in 2008. She has undergraduate degrees in Biological Oceanography and English Literature from the University of Washington. She has led communication workshops, has taught science communication courses, and has seven journal publications. Her top priority as a teacher is to create a learning environment in which students feel respected, encouraged to ask questions, and comfortable giving and receiving feedback, and to support students in gaining the context, skills, and tools they need to meet both their short- and long-term learning objectives. She seeks to help students understand the contexts, challenges, and opportunities for communicating science in the modern world; become critical consumers of science communication; and develop the skills to communicate science using a variety of approaches. We look forward to her contributions in communications to our science curriculum at UW Bothell.