William Kath Named Margaret B. Fuller Boos Professor

Kath is an expert on quantitative biological modeling, computational neuroscience, and optics

Northwestern Engineering’s William Kath, professor of engineering sciences and applied mathematics and (by courtesy) neurobiology, has been named the Margaret B. Fuller Boos Professor.

Willam KathNamed after Margaret “Peggy” Fuller Boos, a renowned geologist, scientist, and engineer who received her bachelor’s degree in geology from Northwestern and later taught at the University, the endowed professorship recognizes Kath’s contributions to the engineering sciences and applied mathematics department and its importance within the McCormick School of Engineering.

Kath is an expert on quantitative biological modeling, computational neuroscience, and optics. His research group has explored a variety of projects, including TimeSignature, an algorithm that robustly infers circadian time from gene expression data — a function that could be applied to precision medicine, from diagnosing neurological disorders faster or optimizing drug delivery.

In addition, Kath also serves as codirector of Northwestern’s NSF-Simons Center for Quantitative Biology, which brings together mathematical and life scientists to transform the understanding of organismal growth and development through quantitative approaches, including dynamical systems theory, stochastic processes, and dimension reduction. By applying complex technologies like artificial intelligence, genomics, and microscopy to the study of simple animals like worms and fruit flies, the center’s researchers are gaining a new understanding of the “rules of life.”

Among his honors, Kath has received the American Society of Engineering Education’s Mathematics Division Distinguished Educator and Service Award, the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award, and Northwestern’s Technological Institute Award for Teaching Excellence. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Kath received his PhD in applied mathematics from the California Institute of Technology and his SB in mathematics from MIT.

McCormick News Article