Vijay Mittal, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, poses Friday in the storage room next to his office in Muenzinger Psychology on the CU campus.

Students are preparing to swarm the dorms at the University of Colorado as the fall semester nears, but they’re not the only ones moving in.

Some of CU’s new faculty members are already organizing their offices and unpacking in their new Boulder homes in preparation for the upcoming semester, which starts Aug. 23.

Vijay Mittal, CU’s newest assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, spent all day Friday organizing his office space and rearranging his lab.

Others, like Alan Jagolinzer, associate professor of business and accounting, are already making themselves at home in their new office and focusing on their upcoming courses.

With new faculty spread across various departments, returning students are likely to see at least one unfamiliar face this fall.

Psychology and Neuroscience

Besides organizing his workspace, Vijay Mittal is busy preparing for his psychopathology course this fall and his research on adolescents at risk for schizophrenia.

Mittal comes to CU after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California in Los Angeles, which inspired his research project with CU’s Center for Longitudinal Evaluation and Adolescent Research.

A great psychology program and a beautiful location attracted Mittal to CU, he said.


Seth Spielman joins CU from Brown University in Rhode Island and will be teaching “Statistics for Earth Sciences” in the fall.

Spielman said he is excited about the reputation of the university’s geography department and the “natural and cultural amenities” in Boulder.

During his time at CU, Spielman said he hopes to become a mentor to students and develop new geographical tools to study the relationship between the environment, health and behavior.

“My first goal is to support the intellectual development of students in and out of the classroom,” Spielman.

Chemical engineering

Joel Kaar will be teaching in the chemical and biological engineering department this fall after leaving his previous position at the University of Cambridge in Massachusetts.

The department’s “outstanding academic reputation” and “vibrant faculty” made the move to CU a no-brainer, Kaar said.

While at CU, Kaar plans to “build a successful research program while developing a strong record of teaching and mentoring at the graduate and undergraduate level,” he said.

Mechanical engineering

Mark Borden, CU’s newest assistant professor of mechanical engineering, will not be teaching classes this fall but focusing on moving his research program from Columbia University in New York City.

While Borden will not be teaching this semester, his goals for reaching students will start immediately in his lab.

“I plan to build an internationally recognized laboratory that engages in research to tackle some of the most challenging problems in medical imaging and therapeutics,” Borden said.

Computer Science

Aaron Clauset, assistant professor of computer science, will be teaching “Inference, Models and Simulation for Complex Systems” this fall after finishing his Omiydar Fellowship at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico.

Clauset said he is excited about joining CU’s Initiative for Molecular Biotechnology and developing a branch of the department that will use computers and algorithms to answer scientific questions.

“I came to CU because it’s a world-class public research university with a great track record in highly interdisciplinary research,” Clauset said.

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