Engineering professors elected to National Academy of Sciences

By The Office of Engineering Communications
April 30, 2020

Two engineering faculty members, Jennifer Rexford and Elke Weber, have been elected as members of the National Academy of Sciences, the academy announced April 27.

The academy’s class of 2020 includes 120 members and 26 international members recognized for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Other Princeton faculty members elected to the academy this year are Anne Case, the Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Emeritus; and Suzanne Staggs, the Henry Dewolf Smyth Professor of Physics.

Rexford is the chair of the Department of Computer Science and the Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor of Engineering. A leader in computer networking, she has focused on methods to improve and expand digital communications. Among other areas, she has contributed to advances in the Border Gateway Protocol, which enables communications across the many networks that form the internet. She also helped establish methods to improve the design and control of networks at multiple levels.

Rexford joined the Princeton faculty in 2005 after eight and a half years at AT&T Research. She received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Princeton, and master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Michigan. Among other honors, she is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, which awarded her the 2004 Grace Murray Hopper Award for outstanding young computer professionals.

She is also affiliated faculty in the Center for Information Technology PolicyElectrical Engineering, the Program in Applied & Computational Mathematics, the Princeton Environmental Institute, and the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies. In 2011, she received a Graduate Mentoring Award from Princeton’s McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning.

Weber is the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment and professor of psychology and public affairs at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. She is also the associate director for education at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.

Weber is known internationally for using behavioral decision science and psychological theory to advance global understanding of and help to alleviate social problems. She has been recognized for her distinctive approach to linking psychology principles to behavior change and uncovering the implications for environmental and economic policy, communications, management, economics and leadership models. Her recent research shows how the personal carbon footprint of climate scientists, philanthropists and other climate advocates affect the perceived legitimacy of and policy support for their climate strategies. Weber’s research ranges from studies of discrimination and economic inequality to investigations of the social and psychological barriers to decarbonization. Much of her work contextualizes tradeoffs and decision-making risks, especially under conditions of uncertainty.

Weber joined the Princeton faculty in 2016 from Columbia University. At Princeton, she founded the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab. At Columbia, she founded the Center for Decision Sciences and Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, which are still active today. Weber was the Jerome A. Chazen Professor of International Business at Columbia Business School for 17 years, and also held visiting appointments at London Business School and the Copenhagen Business School.

In 2018, Weber was named a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina). She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and American Psychological Society, and has held leadership positions in Society for Neuroeconomics, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Mathematical psychology, among others.