Skip to content Skip to navigation

Distinguished Scholar Lectures

The Distinguished Scholars Lectures were launched as a new program in Spring 2012 with funding from the Stanford Provost.  This program gives participating departments an opportunity to host colleagues in their fields for a scientific talk/seminar in addition to meetings with Stanford faculty and students. 


The Department of Music invited several speakers for the Visiting Composer Seminar Series.  Speakers included Jennifer Walshe (Brunel University), Joanna Bailie (Berlin), and Ashley Fure (Dartmouth College/Berlin),


Keivan Stassun

Keivan Stassun

Keivan Guadalupe Stassun is Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University; Adjunct Professor of Physics, Fisk University; Director, Vanderbilt Initiative in Data-Intensive Astrophysics (VIDA) and Co-Director, Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program.

The Department of Physics hosted Professor Stassun in November 2014 for a scientific talk and student meetings. During the visit, Professor Stassun presented on the Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program to faculty across science and biosciences departments. He also met with graduate students.

Professor Stassun received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2000) and his Bachelor's degree in Physics/Astronomy (double major) with Honors from the University of California, Berkeley (1994).  Among his many accolades, he received the American Physical Society Nicholson Medal for Human Outreach (2013) and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2012).  Learn More about Keivan Stassum




Michal Lipson

Michal Lipson

Michal Lipson is the Given Foundation Professor of Engineering at Cornell University. Her talk took place on October 29, 2013. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, IBM Faculty Award and Blavatnik award, NY state academy of science.

Professor Lipson received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in physics in the Technion— Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, in 1998. In December 1998, she joined the Department of Material Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a Postdoctoral Associate. In 2001, she joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University.



Jose Blanchet

Jose Blanchet

Associate Professor of Engineering, Industrial Engineering & Operations Research at Columbia University, Jose Blanchet (PhD class of 2004), gave a talk titled "On Stochastic Insurance and Reinsurance Risk Networks" on November 6- 8, 2012.  The talk was hosted by the Department of Management Science and Engineering and co-sponsored with the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

Professor Blanchet is a recipient of the 2009 Best Publication Award given by the INFORMS Applied Probability Society, the 2010 Erlang Prize, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2010.

Professor Blanchet began his career as Assistant Professor of Statistics at Harvard and joined the faculty at Columbia in 2008. His interests include applied probability, computational finance, MCMC, queuing theory, rare-event analysis, simulation methodology and risk theory. A lunch meeting with Stanford graduate students was organized by the Vice Provost of Graduate Education during Professor Blanchet's visit.

Joseph Teran

Inaugural Distinguished Scholar Lecture by Joseph Teran

The Department of Computer Science hosted the Inaugural Lecture in the 2012 series on May 31, 2012. It featured Associate Professor Joseph Teran (PhD Class of 2005), UCLA Department of Mathematics. 

Professor Teran was a recipient of a 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and a 2010 Young Investigator award from the Office of Naval Research. In 2008, Discover Magazine named him one of the 50 “Best Brains in Science” which lauded him and other young scientists as “young visionaries who are transforming the way we understand the world.” Also, his postdoctoral and graduate research was supported by National Science Foundation Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research and Graduate Research Fellowship awards, respectively.

Professor Teran is a second-generation Mexican-American with familial ties in Baja California and Jalisco. His grandparents immigrated to Sonoma County in the North Bay and he grew up in Santa Rosa, California. His undergraduate studies were done at the University of California, Davis. He completed his PhD in scientific computing under the supervision of Ronald Fedkiw at Stanford University. His postdoctoral research was done under the supervision of Michael Shelley and Charles Peskin at the Courant Institute at New York University and Court Cutting of the NYU School of Medicine.