2009 Honored Faculty & Honored Books

J. Michael Farmer
School of Arts & Humanities

The Golden Peaches of Samarkand
by Edward H. Schafer

"The Golden Peaches of Samarkand, described by its author Edward H. Schafer as a "humanistic essay," combines careful philology with critical scholarship and material culture studies to present a rich cultural history of Tang China's encounters with the West via the Silk Roads. It is truly interdisciplinary, erudite and engaging, and transports the reader to another time and place. The Golden Peaches of Samarkand embodies the type of scholarship that I aspire to, and the interdisciplinary ideals of the School of Arts & Humanities at UTD."

Linda C. Keith
School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

Shake Hands with The Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda
by Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire

"The tragedy of the Rwandan genocide is one that humanity should never forget. General Dallaire's book gives testimony to a world and its leaders who quickly forgot the lessons of our past that we had vowed "never to forget" and illustrates the difficulty of orchestrating international humanitarian intervention in general, and particularly against the will of powerful states with little interest in or understanding of a small African state. Perhaps ironically the story of his own experience, and those others on the ground, who struggled to end the horror or simply to help one other individual, reminds me that even small actions can make a difference. "

Seung-Hyun Lee
School of Management

Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance
by Douglass Cecil North

"This book is so precious to me because it opened my eyes to how institutional differences and changes affect firm performance. Written by a Nobel laureate Douglass North this book is a gold mine for the scholars interested in why firms differ in different institutional environments. Clear logic on how and why institutions matter in strategic management in the book guided me through my scholarly journey until today and will surely guide me in the future scholarly journey as well. I cannot think of myself without the influence of this book. "

Neeraj Mittal
School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science

The Panchatantra
by Visnu Sarma and Chandra Rajan (translator)

"It is a collection of animal stories told by a sage to three young princes about five principles that help a human being succeed in life.  I have enjoyed listening to these stories since my childhood.  Although the stories are more than 1500 years old, the lessons are still relevant today."

Issa Panahi
School of Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering

Handbook of Signal Processing in Acoustics
edited by David Havelock,  Sonoko Kuwano, and Michael Vorlander

"This 2 volume edition provides a rich collection of recent theoretical and practical materials for signal processing in acoustics. My research is in signal processing for audio, speech, and acoustic signals and systems. So this set of handbooks is an excellent reference tool for me and my research students. I am honored and thankful for receiving this valuable gift. "

Venus O. Reese
School of Arts and Humanities

How To Do Things with Words
by J.L. Austin

"This is my all time favorite theory book. It is so elegant and effective. I love J.L.’s brilliance in using the text to not simply describe that words create reality but also demonstrating through the actual construction of the text the creation of his theories with the reader. It is the basis of my research, performative scholarship, regarding the construction of self (race/gender/sexuality/class) as a speech act and it is the basis of my teaching pedagogy/methodology, experiential learning. "

Sheryl L. Skaggs
School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

Handbook of Employment Discrimination Research: Rights and Realities
by Laura Beth Nielsen and Robert L. Nelson

"This book is a storehouse of information about employment discrimination law and has served as an important guide for my research. The presented scholarly works have inspired me to think outside the proverbial box and strive for greater knowledge and understanding about how discrimination operates to create and sustain workplace inequality. "

Eric M. Vogel
Erik Jonsson School of Engineering & Computer Science

Lectures On the Electrical Properties of Materials
by  L. Solymar and D. Walsh

"As a Junior Electrical Engineering Student at Penn State University, I was required to take a class on Electronic Materials which was taught by Prof. Pat Lenahan of Penn State’s Engineering Science and Mechanics Department.  After taking this class, I knew that I wanted to go into this area and I have been in this area ever since.  Before entering college, I always enjoyed science, but decided to be more practical and entered Electrical Engineering.  This book and class showed me that I could have the best of both worlds…at the intersection of science and applications. "

Zhiqiang (Eric) Zheng
School of Management

The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 5 Part One: The Five Dynasties and Sung China And Its Precursors, 907-1279 AD
by Denis Twitchett, Paul Jakov Smith

"Nobel laureate Kenneth Arrow artfully demonstrated that the only voting system that isn't flawed is a dictatorship. The Sung dynasty (960-1279 AD) of China exemplifies Arrow's theory to a perfection. Had I given a choice, the Sung dynasty is the era I would like to live in. This book will show you why. "