Newsletter Issue 17
From the Founding Director
We know from discussions that some followers of the Hagler Institute think that the Institute staff chooses the Hagler Fellows. This is a misconception.
The Hagler Institute provides a structure in which high standards of excellence are ensured and supported. Hagler Fellow nominees are evaluated by our Faculty Advisory Board
(FAB), which consists of nine University Distinguished Professors. Six of the FAB members are elected, and three are appointed by the provost.
While the director moderates the evaluation process and charges the FAB with careful evaluation of nominees, final votes from the FAB provide the sole basis for approving or disapproving each nominee for recruitment. No staff member of the Hagler Institute, including the director, can nominate, vote, or advocate for or against any nominee.
College nominations are the driving force behind the ultimate characteristics of Fellows.
The overriding truth is that the Fellows are derived from nominations provided by the colleges, schools, and institutes. Each college has the same base-line number of annual nomination slots. Scientists and engineers have comprised a little more than half of all Fellows thus far, with other fields encompassing the rest, because that reflects the distribution of nominations received.
Due to budget issues related to cost sharing by the colleges, not all nomination opportunities are utilized. To ensure nominations are forthcoming from every college through perpetuity, the Hagler Institute is seeking donors for endowments for Hagler College Chairs. The endowment earnings can only be used to fund a steady stream of Hagler Fellows for that college. Such chairs pay the costs of Fellows, allowing a college to bring in new outstanding scholars without impinging on college resources. For each dedicated Hagler College Chair, one extra nomination is allowed annually.
The Hagler Institute has matching funds to help donors establish these prestigious chairs. Seeking endowments for Hagler College Chairs is a high priority of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study.

Best wishes to all,
Hagler Fellow Updates
Luiz Davidovich
and the Quantum World

One of the fascinating aspects of nature is the way light behaves. If you have not encountered light’s unusual properties, just read the book by Physics Nobel Prize recipient, Richard Feynman, titled The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. Even though it was published in 1985, and advancements have been made since then, this book will
introduce you to a strange world, indeed. In the book, Feynman discusses that things at the atomic level do not follow Newton’s laws of motion; therefore, a new approach was needed.
Quantum mechanics was developed to explain the behavior of electrons in matter and other aspects of the “small world.” It is a strange subject because it goes against what one might refer to as “common sense.” It takes a special person armed with a heavy dose of mathematics to investigate this quantum world, and 2019- 2020 Fellow of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study, Dr. Luiz Davidovich, is one of them.
Davidovich is a professor of physics in the Instituto de Física at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. He is working with faculty and students at Texas A&M University in the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering (IQSE), the College of Science, and the College of Engineering. He recently published a paper in the September 2020 issue of Physical Review Research with collaborators from Texas A&M, including J. Wang, Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science; G.S. Agrawal, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, and the IQSE. The paper is titled “Quantum Sensing of Open Systems: Estimation of Damping Constants and Temperature.” As the abstract states, the paper determines:

“...quantum precision limits for estimation of damping
constants and temperature of lossy bosonic channels.
A direct application would be use of light for estimation of the absorption and temperature of a transparent slab.”

Davidovich is planning more visits to Texas A&M from his home in Brazil once travel restrictions are lifted.
Misha Lyubich:
An Example of Remote Collaborations

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed many challenges to academics. The Hagler Institute for Advanced Study adapted to this unexpected new atmosphere by extending the duration of planned visits by Fellows of the Hagler Institute, as current visits are postponed. However, collaborative research is proceeding with the use of technology for remote communications.
An example of this adaptation is the work of 2019-2020 Hagler Institute Fellow and renowned mathematician, Dr. Misha Lyubich. He is the director of the Institute for Math Sciences at Stony Brook University in New York and is working with students and faculty in the Department of Mathematics at Texas A&M.
Each year, the Hagler Institute provides fellowships for two outstanding students to work with Fellows from the program. Some of the most important work done by the Hagler Fellows is providing a launch pad for successful research for these upcoming scholars. Misha has been working with two students in A&M’s math department who were awarded such fellowships.
Lyubich reports that he has been designing a project for Texas A&M graduate student, Supun T. Samarakoon, which is currently titled, “On the Pluripotential Theory for Random Dynamics Associated with Generalized Grigorchuk’s Groups.” In addition, he has been directing the other fellowship recipient, Xiaoyu Su, in studies of basic holomorphic dynamics.

Lyubich’s discussions have not been confined to those few people. He recently presented a virtual seminar to the Department of Mathematics on "Renormalization in Holomorphic Dynamics."
His collaboration with Texas A&M’s Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, Rostislav Grigorchuk, and postdoc at Stony Brook, Nguyen-Bac Dang, has resulted in a joint paper titled “Self-Similar Groups and Holomorphic Dynamics: Renormalization, Integrability, and Spectrum,” submitted for journal review on October 1, 2020.
Lyubich’s experience is only one of many continuing collaborations. The work of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study is continuing through these unprecedented times.
Peter Shor Elected to the
National Academy of Engineering

Dr. Peter W. Shor, 2019-2020 Fellow of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in October 2020 and will be officially inducted in 2021 in Washington D.C. Shor earned this honor for his pioneering contributions to quantum computation. He is well known for his discoveries in quantum computing and quantum information, specifically in relation to algorithms, computational geometry, and combinatorics. He developed “Shor’s algorithm," a computational process that factors integers exponentially faster than the fastest modern classical computer, which is revolutionary in the field of quantum computing. Shor now joins the exclusive group of scholars whose contributions to knowledge have earned them membership in both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.
He is the Morss Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During his time in the Hagler Institute, he is collaborating with students and faculty in the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering, the College of Science, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Active Scholars of the
Hagler Institute for Advanced Study

In the last issue of our newsletter, we introduced our 2020-2021 class of ten Fellows and one distinguished lecturer. Each Fellow will spend time on campus, anywhere from three months to one year, with many coming intermittently over multiple years. The average Fellow visits for approximately six months over a three-year period.
These scholars are great additions to our collaborative research atmosphere. An enormous impact on the intellectual environment at A&M stems from the new Fellows and distinguished lecturers, the active Fellows from prior years, and the Fellows who have since joined A&M’s faculty permanently.
For the 2020-2021 academic year, thirty-seven active Fellows and three distinguished lecturers will be on campus, pending safety regulations due to the pandemic. If visits are postponed, collaborations will continue by remote technology until on-campus visits and personal collaborations can be arranged. As shown below, these Fellows are spread across campus, in many colleges and departments, infusing fresh insights and inspiration to faculty and students. These scholars are elected members of one or more national academies (science, engineering, or medicine), or have achieved equivalent stature and recognition in their fields.
 The 2020-2021 Fellows:
Cooks, R. Graham - chemistry
Feinberg, Andrew P. - molecular and cellular medicine
Giovannoni, James J. - biology and horticultural sciences Hammond, Paula T. - mechanical and chemical engineering
Judge, Timothy A. - management
King, Julia - chemistry, architecture, engineering
Ladson-Billings, Gloria - teaching, learning, and culture
Mukamel, Shaul - Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering
Orlin, Lena Cowen - english, Ctr. of Digital Humanities Research
Active Fellows from the 2019-2020 class:
Davidovich, Luiz - physics and astronomy
Donovan, Sharon - nutrition
Hamuy, Mario Andrés - physics and astronomy
Hotez, Peter J. - public health, veterinary medicine, and biomedical sciences
Howell, Kathleen C. - aerospace engineering
Lyubich, Misha - mathematics
Rousso, Henry - Bush School of Government and Public Service
Shor, Peter W. - Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering
Active Fellows from the 2018-2019 class:
Bagnato, Vanderlei S. - biomedical engineering
Duff, Michael J. - Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering
Huang, Yonggang - mechanical engineering
Jones, Cameron - chemistry
Kaufmann, Stefan H.E. - microbial pathogenesis and immunology
Poor, H. Vincent - electrical and computer engineering
Rinaldo, Andrea - ocean engineering
Active Fellows from the 2017-2018 class:
Dhir, Vijay K. - mechanical engineering
Dixon, Richard A. - plant biology
Active Fellows from the 2016-2017 class:
Giger, Maryellen - biomedical engineering
Active Distinguished Lecturers:
Lewis, Jennifer A. - biomedical engineering
Sreenivasan, Katepalli - aerospace engineering
Zoghbi, Huda - genetics, medicine
Active Fellows of the Hagler Institute who have joined Texas A&M’s permanent faculty:
Adams, Harold – architecture
Andersson, Leif - veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences
Howe, Roger - teaching, learning, and culture
Hubbard, James E. - mechanical engineering
Kennicutt, Robert - physics and astronomy
Needleman, Alan - materials science and engineering
Skelton, Robert - aerospace engineering
Thomas, Edwin L. “Ned” - materials science and engineering
Unruh, William G. - Institute of Quantum Science and Engineering
These scholars inspire and add to the epitome of excellence at Texas A&M.
Student Spotlight: Caitlyn Hoffpauir
Before she graduated in May 2020, Caitlyn Hoffpauir was a graduate student in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology in the College of Medicine. The department focuses on human diseases, with an emphasis on microbial agents and molecular mechanisms of host response and immune function. During her last year, Caitlyn received a fellowship from the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study to collaborate with 2018-2019 Hagler Fellow Dr. Stefan H.E. Kaufmann, who was visiting Texas A&M from the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Germany.
Caitlyn wrote to the Hagler Institute:

“I am honored to be working with Dr. Stefan H.E. Kaufmann, who
is a leading pioneer in the fields of immunology and infectious disease biology. His research has made a tremendous global health impact on our current understanding of tuberculosis (TB) pathogenesis. My current research project focuses on understanding the exact mechanism that host cell proteins use to respond to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. This fellowship has allowed me to get out of my scientific comfort zone, pushed me to be creative, as well as funded my last year of research at Texas A&M University.”
Funding collaborations between A&M’s advanced students and world-renownd scholars is one of the crown jewels of the Hagler Institute.
Caitlyn is shown below presenting research results at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories Conference on Microbial Pathogenesis & Host Response.
If you have news to share, please send articles, suggestions, or other information to:
Dr. Clifford L. Fry, Associate Director
Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University