Williams College Awards Eight Faculty Members with Tenure

Media contact:  Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email:[email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., Jan. 11, 2012 – Following the recommendation of the Committee on Appointments and Promotions, the Williams College Board of Trustees has promoted eight faculty to the position of associate professor with tenure. The promotion will take effect July 1, 2012 for Amie Ashley Hane, psychology; Brent Heeringa, computer science; Morgan McGuire, computer science; Steven J. Miller, mathematics and statistics; Steven E. Nafziger, economics; Anne Reinhardt, history; Dorothy J. Wang, American studies; and Li Yu, Asian studies.

Amie Ashley Hane, psychology

Hane’s research in developmental psychology explores the social regulation of reactivity to stress and novelty. Her two particular areas of focus are the relationship between early-occurring maternal care-giving behavior and stress physiology, and the importance of the quality of caregiver-child interactions and child temperament in shaping the development of risk and resilience. She has been published in numerous scholarly journals, including Journal of Family Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Psychological Science.

Since her arrival at Williams in 2006, Hane has taught both introductory classes on developmental psychology as well as more advanced classes on risk, resilience, and early experience in infant development. She is also a member of the faculty of the program in neuroscience and has served on committees focused on the college’s center for children as well as the College and Community Advisory Committee. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

Brent Heeringa, computer science

Heeringa is interested in approximation algorithms, computational complexity, data structures and computability. He has been published in the journal Algorithmica and has presented at numerous peer-reviewed conferences. His research is supported financially by the National Science Foundation. During his time as a graduate student he helped several other computer scientists in founding Adverplex, a company that works with pay-per-click advertising.

Heeringa first arrived at Williams in 2003 as a visiting professor during a break in his graduate studies. Since his return, he has become faculty advisor for the women’s tennis team. He received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota, Morris, and his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Morgan McGuire, computer science

McGuire’s research interests are computer graphics and high-throughput computing, with emphasis on special effects for film and video games. In addition to numerous award-winning papers he has authored, McGuire is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Graphics Tools, the lead author of Creating Games: Mechanics, Content, and Technology, and a visiting professor at NVIDIA Research.

McGuire has also contributed to numerous commercial products, including the E-Ink display for the Amazon Kindle, the PeakStream high-performance computing infrastructure (which was acquired by Google), and games, including Titan Quest (THQ/Windows) and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (Activision|Blizzard/Xbox360). He is currently working on a new game with Vicarious Visions and continues to teach classes on game design and computer graphics in the art and computer science departments at Williams, where he has been working since 2006. He received his B.S. and M.Eng. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Brown University.

Steven J. Miller, mathematics

Miller focuses on analytic number theory, random matrix theory, probability theory, sabermetrics, and Benford’s Law in his research. He has an extensive publishing history, including his book An Invitation to Modern Number Theory and papers in accounting, computer science, economics, geology, marketing, and physics, in addition to mathematics and statistics.

Miller has been teaching at Williams since 2008, and has led classes on cryptography, sabermetrics, and number theory, as well as more introductory calculus courses. He is very involved with the community, serving on committees and in organizations relating to dorm programming, student dining, academic advising, and recruiting. He also maintains a website of math riddles. His B.S. is from Yale University and his Ph.D. is from Princeton University.

Steven E. Nafziger, economics

Nafziger specializes in economic history and development economics, with research focusing on tsarist Russia, and his work has been published in numerous journals, including Explorations in Economic History and The Journal of Economic History. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Since 2006 Nafziger has been teaching classes on microeconomics and economic history at Williams. In 2009, he was named a Class of 1945 World Fellow and a Hellman Fellow by Williams College. He received a B.A. from Northwestern University and his Ph.D. from Yale University.

Anne Reinhardt, history

Reinhardt’s research has focused on imperialism, technology, and social change in nineteenth and twentieth century China.  Her book, Navigating Semi-colonialism: Shipping, Sovereignty, and Nation-Building in China, 1860-1911, will be published by the Harvard University Asia Center.  She is currently working on a new book on histories of capitalism in China and India.

Since her arrival at Williams in 2005, she has been teaching courses on Chinese history that range from earliest times to the present day.  She received her B.A. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Dorothy J. Wang, American studies

Wang specializes in contemporary poetry in English, with a focus on experimental minority poetry; she also works on avant-garde poetry and poetics, Asian American literature, and Anglophone Chinese diasporic literature. She has published essays in The Journal of Asian American Studies and in the book Diaspora: Negotiating Asian-Australia. Her book, Thinking Its Presence: Form, Race, and Subjectivity in Contemporary Asian American Poetry, is forthcoming from Stanford University Press.

At Williams since 2006, Wang has served on the Faculty Lecture Series Committee, is a Faculty Affiliate in the Department of English, and has contributed to the comparative literature program. She has been teaching Asian American literature, American minority avant-garde writing, and introductory American studies courses. From 2009-2010 she worked as a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University. She received her B.A. from Duke University, an M.P.A. in international affairs from Princeton University, an M.A. in writing from Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of California, Berkeley.

Li Yu, Asian studies

Yu’s research fields include Chinese language pedagogy and the history of reading in late Imperial China.  She has been published in journals including The Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association and Studies on Asia.  She currently serves as the book review editor for The Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association. She held a fellowship from the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows,” a part of the Excellence Initiative by the German federal and state governments, at University of Heidelberg in Germany in 2009-10.

At Williams since 2005, Yu teaches courses in Chinese language at all levels, Chinese pop culture, and ethnic minority cultures. She received her B.A. from East China Normal University (Shanghai, China) and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.

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