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American Academy of Arts and Sciences elects 3 UC San Diego professors

Three UC San Diego faculty members have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: neuroscientist Steven Allen Hillyard, linguist David M. Perlmutter and anthropologist Kathryn Ann Woolard.

They are among 186 American fellows and 12 foreign honorary members selected to the 2013 class, representing some of the world's top scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders.

The professors' election brings UC San Diego's current membership in the academy to 110.

"The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of our nation's most prestigious honor societies, and we are proud to have three additional UC San Diego faculty elected as members," said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. "The academy is composed of leaders, innovators and visionaries who are tackling some of the world's most pressing challenges. I look forward to their future successes and achievements, which will ultimately benefit us all."

Steven Hillyard, professor of neurosciences in the UC San Diego School of Medicine, received his Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University in 1968 and came to UC San Diego in that same year. He is widely recognized for his investigations into the neural bases of human perceptual and cognitive processes. By using noninvasive recording and neuroimaging, the Hillyard laboratory aims to identify and characterize spatiotemporal patterns of brain activity that underlie both normal and abnormal cognitive processes of perception, selective attention, stimulus recognition and consciousness. Hillyard's research has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. His honors include awards from Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the NIMH.

David Perlmutter is a professor emeritus of linguistics in the UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences, where he has been on the faculty since 1977. He received his Ph.D. in linguistics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1968. He has done research on the syntactic structure of various Romance, Slavic and Germanic languages, as well as on selected Asian and Native American languages. He has also done research on the internal structure of signs in American Sign Language and on the similarities and differences between signed and spoken languages. Perlmutter has served as president of the Linguistic Society of America.

Kathryn Woolard is a professor of anthropology in the UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences and has been on the faculty since 1989. A linguistic anthropologist, she earned her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1983. Woolard is recent past president of the Society for Linguistic Anthropology and is currently associate editor of Language in Society and the American Anthropologist. Woolard is an expert on the sociolinguistic situation in Catalonia and one of the leading figures in the anthropological study of language ideologies. She has also published research on Spanish-English language politics in the U.S. and on language and racial ideology and in early modern Spain. She is author of, among other works, "Double Talk: Bilingualism and the Politics of Ethnicity in Catalonia" (Stanford University Press).

UC San Diego alumnus Bruce A. Beutler, recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, is also among the 2013 class. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 12 at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

Since its founding in 1780, the academy has elected leading "thinkers and doers" from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

A full list of academy members, past and present, is at UC San Diego's current members are listed at


Contact: Inga Kiderra
University of California - San Diego

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