Greeks Join Distinguished US National Academy of Sciences

Four Greek scientists are among those to have been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS), two as members and two as foreign associates.

Election to membership of the American institution is considered to be one of the highest honors a scientist can receive.

On Tuesday, the NAS announced the election of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Those elected bring the total number of active members to 2,382 and the total number of foreign associates to 484. Foreign associates are non-voting members of the Academy, with citizenship outside the United States.

The two new Greek members are:

Vassiliki Kalogera, Daniel I. Linzer Distinguished University Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics in Northwestern University.

Kalogera is a leading theorist in the study of gravitational waves, the emission of X-rays from compact binary objects and the coalescence of neutron-star binaries.

She received her undergraduate degree in physics in 1992 from the University of Thessaloniki. She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign for graduate school, where she completed her PhD in astronomy in 1997. She joined the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics as a CfA postdoctoral fellow and was awarded the Clay Fellowship in 2000. Kalogera joined the faculty in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University in 2001.

Mihalis Yannakakis, Percy K. and Vida L.W. Hudson Professor of Computer Science, at New York’s Columbia University.

Yannakakis is known for his contributions to computer science in the areas of computational complexity theory, database theory, computer-aided verification and testing plus algorithmic graph theory.

He was born in Athens in 1953 and attended Varvakeio High School for his early education. He graduated from the National Technical University of Athens in 1975 with a diploma in Electrical Engineering, and then earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Princeton University in 1979.

In 2002 he joined Stanford University where he was a Professor of Computer Science, and left in 2003 to join Columbia University in 2004, where he is currently serving as the Percy K. and Vida L. W. Hudson Professor of Computer Science.

The new foreign associates are:

Panagiotis Karkanas, Director of Malcolm H. Wiener Laboratory of Archaeological Sciences, American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

Anastasios Xepapadeas, professor of economic theory and policy, Athens University of Economics and Business.