Meet the 2019-20 MLK Visiting Professors and Scholars

Founded in 1990, the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) checking out teachers and Scholars Program honors the life and legacy of Martin Luther King by increasing the presence of, and recognizing the efforts of, underrepresented minority scholars at MIT. MLK Visiting Professors and Scholars boost their grant through intellectual wedding utilizing the MIT community and enrich the cultural, educational, and professional experience of students. The program hosts between four and eight scholars annually with economic and institutional support through the Office of the Provost and oversight through the Institute Community and Equity workplace. Six scholars are seeing MIT this scholastic year included in the program.

Kasso Okoudjou is going back for 2nd year as an MLK Visiting Professor in Department of Mathematics. Originally from Benin, he moved to the usa in 1998 and attained a PhD in math from Georgia Tech. Okoudjou joins MIT from University of Maryland university Park, in which he is a teacher. His analysis passions feature applied and pure harmonic evaluation, specifically time-frequency and time-scale analysis; framework concept; and evaluation and differential equations on fractals. He’s interested in broadening the involvement of underrepresented minorities in (undergraduate) analysis within the mathematical sciences.

Matthew Schumaker joins MIT for the next 12 months within the musical and Theater Arts part inside the class of Humanities, Arts, and personal Sciences. Schumaker received their doctorate in songs structure through the University of Ca at Berkeley. At MIT, he shows a unique course, 21M.380 (Composing for Solo Instrument and real time Electronics), a hands-on music technology structure seminar combining instrumental writing with real-time computer music. Also, The Radius Ensemble in Cambridge, Massachusetts has actually commissioned Schumaker to write a unique piece of music that seeks to translate into music the radiant, curved gestures and slashed markings in the abstract surroundings of famous Ethiopian-born painter Julie Mehretu.

Jamie Macbeth is seeing from Smith university, where he is an associate professor in computer system research. He obtained his PhD in computer system research from University of California at Los Angeles. Even though this is his first 12 months as an MLK Visiting Scholar, he could be perhaps not a new comer to MIT, since he’s already been a checking out scientist since 2017. He is managed by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Macbeth’s research is centered on building and learning intelligent processing systems that demonstrate a human-like capability for detailed comprehension and production of normal language, and thus is capable of richer interactions with personal users. He’s especially keen on building systems that decompose the meaning of language into complex conceptual frameworks that mirror people’ embodied cognition, memory, imagery and knowledge about social circumstances.

Ben McDonald has become a postdoc in division of Chemistry since 2018 and is today an MLK Visiting Scholar. McDonald got their PhD in synthetic organic biochemistry from Northwestern University. Their analysis focused on the sum total synthesis of flavonolignan natural products as well as the growth of reverse-polarity carbon-carbon bond forming responses. As person in the department’s Chemistry Alliance for Inclusion and Diversity, he’s dedicated to advancing diversity, equity and addition efforts. One of the initiatives he seeks to ascertain is just a summer time analysis system, which recruits talented future boffins from underrepresented backgrounds.

Tina Opie can be an connect teacher in control Division at Babson College. Opie received her PhD in general management (with a focus in organizational behavior) from New York University’s Stern class of Business. Being an MLK Visiting Scholar in MIT Sloan School of control, along side access to MIT’s Behavioral analysis Lab, she is carrying out study to produce the construct of Shared Sisterhood. “Shared Sisterhood examines exactly how top-quality connections (e.g., relationships characterized by trust, mental vulnerability) between black, white, and Latinx women at your workplace enhance office inclusion and equity.” Though her work possesses certain focus, folks of all genders and racioethnic experiences are “sisters” and that can play a role in fostering an even more comprehensive workplace. Opie established Opie Consulting Group, a diversity-and-inclusion consultancy that incorporates Shared Sisterhood in generating inclusive workplaces.  

Rhonda Williams, an MLK Visiting Professor hosted because of the division of background, joins MIT from Vanderbilt University, in which she was recently appointed the John L. Seigenthaler seat in United states History. This woman is the founder for the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University. Her article titled “Black women that Educate for Justice and Put Their Time, everyday lives, and Spirits on the Line” ended up being recently published in “Black Women And Social Justice Education: Legacies and classes” (2019, SUNY Press). On Oct. 25, Williams will provide a personal justice-related performance-lecture called “The items that Divide United States: Meditations” at MIT. In spring 2020, she’ll facilitate a social justice workshop for pupils, professors and staff.

For more information about our scholars plus the system, see mlkscholars.mit.edu.