Two professors at the School of Engineering and Applied Science have been named members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The honorees, Naomi Leonard and Jennifer Rexford, were among 198 new members elected to the academy this year. Founded in 1780, the academy honors achievement in science, the arts, and civic and business leadership.

Naomi Leonard, the Edwin S. Wilsey Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, specializes in control theory and nonlinear dynamics. Her current research focuses on the feedback mechanisms of collective motion and collective decision-making in multi-agent systems with application to studying animal group dynamics and to designing mobile robotic sensor networks for environmental monitoring.

Leonard, who is also an associated faculty member in the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics, directs the Dynamical Control Systems Laboratory, which develops and tests coordinated control of underwater vehicle dynamics for ocean sampling. Her work also explores the intersection of engineering and art; one project, Flock Logic, used designed feedback to develop choreographic tools for dance.

Leonard was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2004. She is a fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. She received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Princeton in 1985 and a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland. She joined the Princeton faculty in 1994.

Jennifer Rexford, the Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor in Engineering and professor of computer science, specializes in computer networking, with an emphasis on making future networks easier to design and manage. Her current research focuses on software-defined networking, a technique for enabling innovation through greater programmability inside the network.

She serves as co-chair of the National Science Foundation’s advisory committee for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering directorate, and chairs the mobile broadband working group of the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Advisory Committee.

Rexford was awarded the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award in 2004. She is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. She received her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Princeton in 1991 and her doctorate in computer science and engineering from the University of Michigan. She joined the Princeton faculty in 2005.


  • Naomi Leonard portrait

    Naomi Ehrich Leonard

  • Jennifer Rexford

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