Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
John Joannopoulos, the Francis Wright Davis Professor of Physics, has been appointed director of the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN) effective Saturday, July 1.
"Professor Joannopoulos is an exceptional researcher of international standing whose leadership in condensed matter physics will be a tremendous asset to ISN," said Alice P. Gast, vice president for research and associate provost, who announced the appointment.
"Joannopoulos has an exciting vision for enhancing ISN visibility and integration with the MIT campus and for promoting long-term visionary research," she said.
Gast also thanked the search committee members, Timothy Swager, Mary Boyce and Michael Rubner, for their effective work in the selection process.
Commenting on his new position, Joannopoulos said, "I am truly honored to be taking on the leadership of a major laboratory whose focus is on developing cutting-edge science and technology to enhance the survivability of our men and women in the service."
Joannopoulos succeeds the ISN's founding director, Professor Edwin L. Thomas, who has assumed the position of head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
In her announcement, Gast recognized Thomas' "outstanding leadership and vision" for ISN. "We are extremely grateful to Ned for his tireless service bringing ISN to MIT and helping it to thrive here."
The ISN, a $50 million research collaboration between the U.S. Army and MIT, aims to enhance the protection and survival of soldiers using nanotechnology.