3 UCSD professors elected to prestigious academy

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SAN DIEGO — Three UC San Diego professors were elected Monday to an honorary organization among a class that also includes former President Barack Obama, Tom Hanks, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.

UCSD professors Darwin Berg, Marta Kutas and Ivan Schuller are among the 213 individuals to join the American Academy of Arts and Sciences this year. The academy, founded during the American Revolution by John Adams, John Hancock and James Bowdoin, is an honorary society and policy research center.

UCSD professors Marta Kutas (l), Darwin Berg (c) and Ivan Schuller (r).

Figures from across the arts, academia, business and government sectors are selected each year.

“John Adams, James Bowdoin and other founders did not imagine climatology, econometrics, gene regulation, nanostructures or Netflix. They did, however, have a vision that the academy would be dedicated to new knowledge — and these new members help us achieve that goal,” academy chairwoman Nancy Andrews said.

Many of this year’s inductees exemplify intellectual expertise and leadership, according to the academy.

Berg, a former Guggenheim fellow, is a professor emeritus in UCSD’s Division of Biological Sciences. He’s contributed to research on synapse formation and nicotine signaling in the brain.

Kutas, UCSD Department of Cognitive Science chairwoman and adjunct professor of neurosciences, uses behavioral and electrophysiological techniques to study brain processes during language comprehension. She is known for discovering, with a colleague, a brain wave related to language that has been cited in more than 1,000 research articles since 1980.

Schuller, a professor and solid state physicist in UCSD’s Division of Physical Sciences, is an expert in fields relating to magnetism and superconductivity. He has been responsible over the last 20 years for more than 500 published technical papers and 20 patents. His research was also mentioned in the justification for the 2007 Nobel Prize as a precursor to the discovery of “giant magnetoresistance.”

Previous academy members include George Washington, Duke Ellington, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Martin Luther King Jr.

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