Moon Duchin, an associate professor of mathematics, and Aniruddh D. Patel, a professor of psychology, both of the School of Arts and Sciences, recently were named Radcliffe Fellows. Noted for their pioneering scholarship in the mathematics of gerrymandering and in neuroscience, respectively, they were also awarded fellowships in April by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Duchin is currently engaged in a long-term project on the geometry of gerrymandering, an application of mathematics to civil rights. Patel is working on the cognitive neuroscience of music, focusing on relations between music and language processing and on cross-species studies of rhythm processing, the latter work in collaboration with Mimi Kao, an assistant professor of biology.
Duchin and Patel will be in residence at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in 2018–2019. The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program annually supports the work of fifty leading artists and scholars and is considered one of the most competitive programs of its kind in the world, with an acceptance rate of only 4 percent each year.
Duchin, who will be the Evelyn Green Davis Fellow, will analyze the impact of political boundaries through the lens of geometry in her examination of electoral districting. She is one of a number of other incoming fellows who will pursue research relevant to inclusion/exclusion and citizenship in the United States and around the world. Their work will contribute to the Institute’s two-year citizenship initiative, timed in part to anticipate the 2020 centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.
Patel, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fellow, will explore the biology and evolution of human musical behavior in a project titled “Evolutionary Music Cognition: A New Synthesis.” He will be writing a book on the evolution of music cognition, synthesizing research on how animals process music and theories of human gene-culture coevolution. The book will be aimed at a wide scholarly audience, spanning the sciences and humanities.