Dr. Cumrun Vafa Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)
Dr. Cumrun Vafa, Donner Professor of Science at Harvard University, was elected
as a new member of The National Academy of Sciences on April 28, 2009. Members
are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in
Dr. Cumrun Vafa
The NAS is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the
furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. It was established
in 1863 by the Congressional Act of Incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that
calls on the Academy to act as an official advisor to the federal government in
matters of science and technology.
Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be
accorded a scientist or engineer. The academy's membership is comprised of
approximately 2,100 members and 380 foreign associates, of whom nearly 200 have
won Nobel Prizes.
Dr. Vafa teaches and does research on theoretical physics. His main area of
research is string theory, which aims to uncover the fundamental laws of nature
from the smallest subatomic scales to the largest cosmological scales. String
theory is one of the most mathematical and abstract areas of physics. Dr. Vafa's
contributions involve relating geometrical aspects of spacetime with fundamental
forces of natures. He is well known for his work on quantum aspects of black
Dr. Vafa came to the US for continuation of his education, having studied at
Alborz High School in Tehran, Iran. He earned his B.S. at MIT in mathematics and
physics in 1981 and his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1985. He
came to Harvard in 1985 as a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of fellows and
has been on the Harvard faculty since 1988.
Dr. Vafa is a member of PAAIA and served on the organization's interim Board of
Directors (2007-2008). PAAIA congratulates Dr. Vafa on his election and his many
exceptional accomplishments and wishes him even further success.
Additional information about the Academy and its members is available online at
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