MIT Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor and Scholar Program
MLK Professors and Scholars 2014-2015

Coco Fusco, Visiting Scholar, Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Malika Jeffries-EL, Visiting Associate Professor, Chemistry

Calestous Juma, Visiting Professor, Urban Studies and Planning

James Mickens, Visiting Scholar, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Hakeem Oluseyi, Visiting Professor, Physics

André D. Taylor, Visiting Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Kimani C. Toussaint, Visiting Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering


Coco Fusco, Ph.D.
Visiting Scholar, Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Hosted by Professors Edward Schiappa & Junot Díaz

photo of Coco Fusco

Coco Fusco is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist and writer. She is a recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2013 Absolut Art Writing Award, a 2013 Fulbright Fellowship, a 2012 US Artists Fellowship and a 2003 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. Fusco's performances and videos have been presented in two Whitney Biennials (2008 and 1993), BAM’s Next Wave Festival, the Sydney Biennale, The Johannesburg Biennial, The Kwangju Biennale, The Shanghai Biennale, InSite O5, Mercosul, Transmediale, The London International Theatre Festival, VideoBrasil and Performa05.

Her works have also been shown at the Tate Liverpool, The Museum of Modern Art, The Walker Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. She is represented by Alexander Gray Associates in New York. Fusco is the author of English is Broken Here: Notes on Cultural Fusion in the Americas (1995) and The Bodies that Were Not Ours and Other Writings (2001), and A Field Guide for Female Interrogators (2008). She is also the editor of Corpus Delecti: Performance Art of the Americas (1999) and Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self (2003). Fusco's work combines electronic media and performance in a variety of formats, from staged multi-media performances incorporating large scale projections and closed circuit television to live performances streamed to the internet that invite audiences to chart the course of action through chat interaction.

Her most recent performance, Observations of Predation in Humans: A Lecture by Dr. Zira, Animal Psychologist, revives the character from Planet of the Apes to offer a commentary on contemporary forms of aggression that is supplemented by multimedia illustration.

Fusco received her B.A. in Semiotics from Brown University (1982), her M.A. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University (1985) and her Ph.D. in Art and Visual Culture from Middlesex University (2007). She has taught at Tyler School of Art, Columbia University School of the Arts, Parsons The New School for Design and The Fundacão Armando Alvares Penteado in Brazil.

Malika Jeffries-EL, Ph.D.
Visiting Associate Professor, Chemistry
Hosted by Professor Timothy Swager

photo of Malika Jeffries-EL

Malika Jeffries-EL is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Iowa State University. She received BA degrees in Chemistry and Africana Studies at Wellesley College in 1996 and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from The George Washington University in 1999 and 2002 respectively. After spending one year at Smith College as a Mendenhall Fellow she worked as a post-doctoral fellowship under the direction of Professor Richard D. McCullough at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2005, she joined the faculty in the Chemistry Department at Iowa State University and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2012.

Her research focuses on the development of organic semiconductors–materials that combine the processing properties of polymers with the electronic properties of semiconductors. She has authored over 30 publications, received over 1200 citations and given over 75 lectures domestically and abroad. She has won numerous awards including the 3M untenured faculty award (2008), the Emerald Honors for most promising minority scientist (2008), the Lloyd Ferguson Award from the National Organization of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers (2009), NSF CAREER award (2009), the ISU-College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Diversity Award (2011), the ACS-Women Chemist Committee Rising Star award (2012) and the Iota Sigma Pi Agnes Fay Morgan Award (2013). She also held the ISU Gregory L. and Kathleen C. Geoffrey Faculty Fellowship (2005-2008).

Malika is also a dedicated volunteer and has served in several activities within the American Chemical Society including the editorial advisory board for Chemical and Engineering News, the Society Committee on Education (SocEd), the advisory board for the Women Chemist of Color Initiative, Member-at-large for the Organic Division, Program co-Chair for the Polymer division and as a councilor for her local section. She also serves the community through her work with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She is a native of Brooklyn, New York.

Calestous Juma, D.Phil.
Visiting Professor, Urban Studies and Planning
Hosted by Professors Bishwapriya Sanyal, Phillip Clay and Larwrence Susskind

photo of Calestous Juma

Calestous Juma is and internationally-recognized authority on the application of science and technology to sustainable development. He is Professor of the Practice of International Development, Faculty Chair of the Innovation for Economic Development Executive Program and Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on science, technology, innovation and sustainability. He also directs the School’s Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has been elected to several prestigious scientific academies including the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the UK Royal Academy of Engineering and the African Academy of Sciences.

Juma serves on the board of trustees of the Aga Khan University and is co-chairs the African Union’s High-Level Panel on Science, Technology and Innovation. He was a member of the judging panel of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering and the Rolex Awards for Enterprise. He was the first permanent Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and founding Executive Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies in Nairobi. He was Chancellor of the University of Guyana, member of the National Social and Economic Council of the President of Kenya, and Special Advisor to the International Whaling Commission. He co-chaired the Science, Technology and Innovation Panel of UN Millennium Project commissioned by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the African High-Level Panel on Modern Biotechnology of the African Union.

Juma holds a DPhil in science and technology policy studies from the University of Sussex (UK) and has received several international awards and honorary degrees for his work on sustainable development. He is editor of the peer-reviewed International Journal of Technology and Globalisation and the International Journal of Biotechnology. His latest book, The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa, was published in 2011 by Oxford University Press. Updates on his work are available via Twitter @calestous

James Mickens, Ph.D.
Visiting Scholar, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Hosted by Professor Frans Kaashoek

photo of James Mickens

James Mickens is a researcher in the Distributed Systems group at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington. His research focuses on cloud-scale storage systems, and client-side JavaScript frameworks that improve the performance, robustness, and security of web applications. James received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Georgia Tech. While at MIT, James will be hosted by Frans Kaashoek from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

During his stay at MIT, James tentatively plans to make everything better for everyone on Earth. His approach will be cross-disciplinary and thus NSF-friendly. After solving all problems, James will write a children’s book, which explains the bad old days when perpetual motion machines did not exist, and bicycles did not spontaneously transform into helmets when crashes were imminent. James will write this book from his vacation home near Alpha Centauri, because James will have un-problematized the problem of interstellar space travel, mainly using Mickens Diagrams, which are similar to Feynman Diagrams, but less constrained by reality.

Hakeem Oluseyi, Ph.D.
Visiting Professor, Physics
Hosted by Professor Sara Seager

photo of Hakeem Oluseyi

Hakeem M. Oluseyi is an internationally recognized astrophysicist, inventor, science communicator, and humanitarian. He has addressed diverse problems in astrophysics including understanding the nature of the dark energy that accelerates our universe, the origin and evolution of the Milky Way galaxy, and the mechanisms by which magnetic fields heat and accelerate astrophysical plasmas.

His work in technology development has included developing instruments for space-based astrophysical research and new techniques for manufacturing computer chips. Originating from one of New Orleans' poorest neighborhoods, Hakeem has made it his life's work to educate the poor in America and in the 3rd World. Some of his current science and education projects include being a member of the development team for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which is the highest priority observatory for the U.S.; the UNESCO Earth-Observing Satellite, which is a project between the U.S., Russia, and African nations; and Hands-On Universe Africa, a project to bring real scientific data to science classrooms in underdeveloped nations.

He sees his professional mission as: 1) advancing humanity's understanding of the universe through scientific inquiry; 2) passing on the detailed knowledge of this process and its results to the next generation; and 3) service to humanity and country. He has received the following degrees: Ph.D. Physics, Stanford University; M.S. Physics, Stanford University; B.S. Physics, Tougaloo College; B.S. Mathematics, Tougaloo College.

André D. Taylor, Ph.D.
Visiting Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Hosted by Professor Yang Shao-Horn

photo of André D. Taylor

André D. Taylor is an Associate Professor and leads the Transformative Materials and Devices Group in the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department at Yale University. He specializes in the synthesis and arrangement of nanomaterials in devices such as fuel cells, lithium ion batteries, and solar cells. He received all three degrees in chemical engineering with a B.S. from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, an M.S. from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

While in graduate school Taylor was a Sloan Fellow, National Science Foundation (NSF) -Rackham Merit Fellow, Eastman Kodak Fellow, and National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. (M.S. and Ph.D.) Fellow. He worked as a research engineer for DuPont’s Engineering Polymers division and Intellectual Asset Management Group and was a research faculty scientist in the chemical engineering department at the University of Michigan.

Taylor has developed CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) compatible micro fuel cells (with integrated heaters and temperature sensors) and a method of patterning ITO (indium tin oxide) substrates for both flat and non-planar surfaces for optoelectronic devices (Artificial Eye Project). Taylor has given several invited lectures at the local, national, and international levels. He has several patents and archival publications related to his research. He is an NSF CAREER award recipient and a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) recipient. See websites below for publication links and recent press releases from his lab.                    

Kimani C. Toussaint, Ph.D.
Visiting Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Hosted by Professor Peter So

photo of Kimani C. Toussaint

Kimani C. Toussaint, Jr. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, and an Affiliate Faculty in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Bioengineering, as well as the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Dr. Toussaint directs the laboratory for Photonics Research of Bio/nano Environments (PROBE Lab) at UIUC, an interdisciplinary research group which focuses on developing advanced optical techniques for both quantitatively imaging collagen-based biological structures, and investigating the optical properties of plasmonic nanostructures for light-driven control of matter.

Dr. Toussaint is a recipient of a 2010 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, and holds Senior Member positions in both the OSA and IEEE. He has previously been selected for both the National Academy of Science’s 18th Annual Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium, and the 8th Annual National Academies Keck Futures Initiative on Imaging Science. In addition, Dr. Toussaint has been on the UIUC List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students for the past 6 consecutive years.

He has received the following degrees: Ph.D. Electrical Engineering Boston University 2004, M.S. Electrical Engineering Boston University 1999 and B.A. African-American Studies/Physics (minor), Math (minor) University of Pennsylvania 1996.