New Year Faculty News

EAPS Communications Office
Thursday, January 4, 2018

A warm welcome to Profs. Brent Minchew and Laurent Demanet as they join EAPS this month.

Brent Minchew is joining EAPS as an Assistant Professor and geophysicist working to understand the interactions between climate, the cryosphere, and the solid Earth. He uses a combination of geodetic observations—primarily interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR)—and physical models to study dynamical systems and their various responses to environmental forcing.

The bulk of Minchew’s research focuses on the dynamics of extant glaciers, with an emphasis on the mechanics of glacier beds, ice-ocean interactions, and ice rheology. By modulating ice flow and directly influencing glacier erosion rates, these factors play critical roles in glacier and ice sheet evolution, the dynamic response of glaciers to climate change, and the impact of glaciers on landform evolution and the global carbon cycle over human to geological timescales.

Minchew’s preferred approach to understanding complex systems is to focus on short-timescale (hourly to sub-decadal) variations in the dynamics of large-scale systems in response to known forcings. Examples of this work include spatiotemporal observations and models of the dynamic response of glaciers to surface meltwater flux, ocean tidal forcing, and ice shelf thinning.

Laurent Demanet is an Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics and a long time member of MIT's Earth Resources Laboratory. His research interests include applied analysis, scientific computing, inverse problems, and wave propagation.

Demanet’s Imaging and Computing Group studies inverse problems related to wave scattering and high-frequency data, including many problems motivated by real-life challenges in seismic and radar imaging. The group‘s specific research directions include computational wave propagation, fast numerical algorithms, applied harmonic analysis, nonlinear signal processing, convex optimization, and the mathematics of sparse and separated expansions.

Previously, Demanet was the "Szego assistant professor" (a postdoctoral position) in the Department of Mathematics at Stanford. He obtained his PhD in 2006 under Emmanuel Candes, in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Caltech. He holds an undergraduate degree in mathematical engineering and theoretical physics from the Universite de Louvain, Belgium.

Demanet is the recipient of a Sloan research fellowship, a CAREER award from NSF, and a Young Investigator award from AFOSR.