School of Arts & Sciences Faculty by Department or Program

Faculty in the School of Arts & Sciences use their expertise, diverse perspectives, and commitment to excellence in higher education to WPI's classrooms and labs. Collaboration across disciplines and across the university means A&S faculty leverage their work so it has the greatest beneficial impact on people and communities all over the world. 

Department Heads

Robert Krueger
Professor & Department Head of Social Science and Policy Studies, Social Science & Policy Studies

Robert Krueger is a human geographer whose scholarship and teaching focus on creating sustainable, socially just, improvements to development projects in the global north and south. His work has taken him around the world. He has worked in countries in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, on issues of economic development and institutional change. His scholarship and teaching challenge conventional notions of economic development, economy-environment relationships, and social change.

read more
Anita Elaine Mattson
Professor & Department Head-Chemistry & Biochemistry, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Research in the Mattson Group is a combination of catalyst design, methodology development, and complex molecule synthesis. Our catalyst design program is focused on the synthesis and study of new families of non-covalent catalysts, including boronate ureas and silanediols, that are able to promote new reactivity patterns. The catalyst design and associated reaction development programs are currently geared toward the synthesis of enantioenriched nitrogen and oxygen heterocycles that frequently appear in naturally occurring bioactive compounds.

read more
Kathryn Moncrief
Professor & Department Head, Humanities & Arts

Kathryn M. Moncrief is Paris Fletcher Distinguished Professor of Humanities and Head of Humanities and Arts at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, MA. She was previously Professor and Chair of English at Washington College, in Chestertown, MD where she taught courses in Shakespeare, Milton, and early modern literature and culture and received the Washington College Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Teaching. She serves as co-editor of the Shakespeare Life and Times section of the Internet Shakespeare Editions and has published widely on Shakespeare and performance.

read more
Sarah D Olson
William Steur Professor & Department Head, Mathematical Sciences

At WPI, I enjoy teaching all courses fundamental to applied mathematics, scientific computing, and modeling. I look forward to mentoring students interested in working on areas in Mathematical Biology, Computational Biofluids, and Scientific Computing. I specialize in Mathematical Biology, understanding emergent properties of complex systems. The goals of these models are to understand the underlying biological processes and make predictions. Please visit my website to learn more about recent research projects.

read more
Douglas Todd Petkie
Professor and Department Head, Physics

It is my pleasure to work with students and colleagues to elevate the impact WPI has on the world. WPI has a dynamic and energetic environment with a strong focus on experiential learning and interdisciplinary research. The balance between theory and practice and the passion everyone shares for the WPI Plan and the Project Based Curriculum makes this a truly unique place, where you get degrees for project accomplishments rather than courses completed.

read more
Reeta Prusty Rao
Professor & Department Head-Biology & Biotechnology, Biology & Biotechnology

A member of the WPI faculty since 2004 and chair of the Department of Biology and Biotechnology since 2022, Reeta Rao is a leader in the field of molecular genetics and genomics. Her primary research activities are focused on emerging infectious diseases, specifically understanding and managing fungal diseases. Students and research associates in her laboratory are trained to use a variety of biochemical, molecular-genetic, and genomic tools to study host-microbe interactions to explore fungal virulence strategies and identify novel therapeutic

read more
Craig A. Shue
Associate Professor and Department Head, Computer Science

I am an Associate Professor and serve as the Head of the WPI Department of Computer Science. I direct WPI's Scholarship for Service program and am an active member of WPI's Cyber Security Program.

read more
Jing Xiao
Professor & Department Head, Robotics Engineering

My research spans robotics, haptics, multi-modal perception, and artificial intelligence, at the intersection of computer science and engineering. There are two highly related themes in my robotics research: one is the focus on “contact sport”, i.e., the contact and interaction between a robot or a part/tool it holds and the environment, and the other is real-time adaptiveness of robots to uncertainty and uncertain changes in an environment based on perception.

read more
Gillian Margaret Smith
Associate Professor-Computer Science, Computer Science

Gillian Smith, an award-winning game designer, joined WPI in 2017. Her interdisciplinary work merges technical research in AI and HCI with creative practice in textiles and games, with a view towards addressing social issues and broadening participation and perspectives on computing. Their research interests are in computational creativity, game design, computer science education, and the intersection of traditional crafts and computation.

read more

Faculty Awards & Achievements

Gottlieb and Rundensteiner Named William B. Smith Professors

Elke Rundensteiner, professor of computer science, and Roger S. Gottlieb, professor of philosophy, have been named William B. Smith Professors. The distinguished William B. Smith Professorships were established by the estate of William Binns Smith, a local entrepreneur and 20th century industrialist. 

2020 Board of Trustees' Award for Academic Advising

Gillian Smith, director of the IMGD program and associate professor of computer science, is an award-winning video game designer with expertise in computational creativity, computer science education, and the intersection of traditional crafts and computation.


2020 Board of Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship

Jagan Srinivasan, professor of biology & biotechnology, is an established researcher who uses cutting-edge tools to decipher how the nervous system detects, interprets, and transmits olfactory information that impacts behavior.

2020 Chairman's Exemplary Faculty Prize

Kristin Boudreau, professor of humanities & arts, is the author of three books and numerous articles on American literature as well as articles on engineering education

2020 Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award

Carlo Pinciroli, assistant professor of robotics engineering, uses elements of video game design in his robotics engineering and computer science courses to generate greater student participation and comprehension of the subject.

2021 Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Teaching

Esther Boucher-Yip, associate teaching professor of humanities & arts, teaches courses in the professional writing program and academic English for international students

2021 Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award

Joshua Rohde, assistant teaching professor of humanities & arts and director of choral activities, was honored for using music to encourage students’ engagement with social justice issues.