HSS postdoctoral instructors pursue research as independent scholars while also collaborating with division faculty and teaching undergraduate courses in the humanities and social sciences. These visiting scholars are an important addition to Caltech, as they help to diversify course offerings and enliven the research environment, bringing new topics to examine and new approaches to share with the community.
HSS welcomes a select group of postdoctoral scholars who are interested in pursuing a program of research and training under the direction of a specific humanities or social sciences faculty member, lab, or research center. Postdoctoral scholars are carefully selected by the faculty members with whom they will work, fulfilling a critical role in the division's—and Caltech's—overall success.
Meet the HSS Postdocs
- Jessen Postdoctoral Instructor in the Humanities (2017–19)
Melanie Masterton Sherazi
I have found that the humanities are integrated seamlessly into Caltech’s curriculum. My students have expanded my own ideas about literature with their original interpretations, driven by their interests and areas of expertise."
- Fletcher Jones Foundation Postdoctoral Instructor in Contemporary Literature (2020–21)
I think coming from a different discipline or background, the questions that emerge are just different. Also, perhaps the students are a little bit less afraid to ask certain grounding questions that a student with a major in English might not ask. And these questions actually help to facilitate the conversation tremendously."
- Senior Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Neuroscience
Jeffrey A. Cockburn
Science and education isn't about filling buckets, it's about lighting fires. If you bring the gasoline, HSS will hand you the match."
- Ahmanson Postdoctoral Instructor in History of Biology (2020–23)
Charles A. Kollmer
I enjoy working with Caltech undergraduates to deepen their engagement with the history of science. Doing this at Caltech is doubly exciting because Caltech itself has been the site of so much fascinating research in the life sciences."
- Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Affective Neuroscience (2020–23)
Sarah M. Tashjian
Caltech is unique because it fosters creativity. Being at Caltech allows me to push the boundaries of my research and to tackle questions of how the human brain functions from new angles."
- Linde Postdoctoral Scholar in Economic and Management Sciences (2017–19)
We economic theorists come up with problems that are real and relevant, but some of our solutions are impractical, with implicit assumptions of infinite time, resources, or data. When you use computer science to approach economic questions, such as matching problems related to apps for ride-sharing or dating, those assumptions matter."
- Howard E. and Susanne C. Jessen Postdoctoral Instructor in Philosophy of Physics (2019–22)
Caltech not only nourishes curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking among students and faculty but also a community of solidarity and humility."
- Linde Institute Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Economics (2021–22)
HSS is a remarkable place, especially for young scholars with broad interests in economic theory. It has a rich history as—and continues to be—a home to some of the most exciting developments in theoretical social science, including foundational work on social choice and political economy, the incorporation of social networks into economic analysis, and a range of recent advances in information economics."
- Linde Postdoctoral Scholar in Economics (2020–21)
The faculty and the research environment at Caltech are unique. It’s a place where people tackle the most challenging problems, crossing the traditional boundaries between disciplines to do so."
- Linde Institute Postdoctoral Instructor in Economics (2020–2023)
HSS is home to exceptional talents, distinct methods, and diverse tastes. This dissimilarity, along with an openness to ideas of others, makes HSS unique. Witnessing the magic of interdisciplinary work in action and, moreover, being a part of it is amazing."