City to City

Engaging Minds is on the go, with topics that get people moving. Wherever Penn faculty and alumni meet, new ideas take hold -- and take off. It's how Penn happens, around the country and around the world.

New York 2015
Featured Faculty:

Danielle S. Bassett
Skirkanich Assistant Professor of Innovation

"The Network of Human Thought"

Danielle S. Bassett is the Skirkanich Assistant Professor of Innovation in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. She is most well-known for her work blending neural and systems engineering to identify fundamental mechanisms of cognition and disease in human brain networks. She received a B.S. in physics from the Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Cambridge, UK. Following a postdoctoral position at UC Santa Barbara, she was a Junior Research Fellow at the Sage Center for the Study of the Mind. In 2012, she was named American Psychological Association's `Rising Star' and given an Alumni Achievement Award from the Schreyer Honors College at Pennsylvania State University for extraordinary achievement under the age of 35. In 2014, she was named an Alfred P Sloan Research Fellow and received the MacArthur Fellow Genius Grant. In 2015, she received the IEEE EMBS Early Academic Achievement Award, and was named an ONR Young Investigator. She is the founding director of the Penn Network Visualization Program, a combined undergraduate art internship and K-12 outreach program bridging network science and the visual arts. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Army Research Office, the Army Research Laboratory, the Alfred P Sloan Foundation, the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, and the University of Pennsylvania. She lives with her husband and two sons in Wallingford, PA.

Read more about Dr. Bassett's work>>

Enrique Mendoza
Presidential Professor of Economics and Director of the Penn Institute for Economic Research

"Our Government's Debt Crisis and Why it Hurts Us"

Enrique G. Mendoza is Presidential Professor of Economics and Director of the Penn Institute for Economic Research at the University of Pennsylvania, where he joined in 2013. Before that, he was Neil Moskowitz Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland, and held positions at the International Monetary Fund, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Duke University. He is a 1989 PhD from the University of Western Ontario, a Research Associate of the NBER, a former panel member of the NSF Economics program, and has served in the editorial boards of several academic journals, including the American Economic Review. His research focuses on international capital flows, financial crises, sovereign debt and international business cycles. His main publications include: “A General Equilibrium Model of Sovereign Default and Business Cycles” with V. Yue, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2012, “Sudden Stops, Financial Crises & Leverage,” American Economic Review, 2010, “Financial Integration, Financial Development and Global Imbalances," with V. Quadrini and J. V. Rios-Rull, Journal of Political Economy, 2009, and "Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, 1991.


Michael Platt
James S. Riepe University Professor

"Friendship and Your Brain"

Michael Platt studies how we make decisions, using a combination of neural recordings, pharmacology, brain imaging, genetics, and computation, in humans, monkeys, and other animals. He received his B.A from Yale and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, both in biological anthropology, and did a post-doctoral fellowship in neuroscience at New York University. His work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Klingenstein Foundation, the McDonnell Foundation, the EJLB Foundation, Autism Speaks, the Broad Foundation, the Klarman Foundation, the Simons Foundation, and the Department of Defense, among others. He is a winner of the Ruth and A. Morris Williams Faculty Research Prize in the Duke University School of Medicine, and was an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow. He has given the Sage Lecture at UC Santa Barbara and has received the Astor Visiting Professor award at Oxford University (deferred). Michael has authored over 90 peer-reviewed papers and over 40 review and opinion papers, and his work has been cited over 4,000 times. Michael is an editor of major textbooks in neuroscience and cognitive neuroscience, and he is a former president of the Society for Neuroeconomics. A revered instructor and mentor, Michael won the Master Teacher/Clinician Award from the Duke University School of Medicine. He is the former Director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and former Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University. Michael’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and National Geographic, as well as on ABC’s Good Morning America, NPR, CBC, BBC, and MTV. Michael values teaching, and was a recipient of the Master Clinician/Teacher Award from the Duke University School of Medicine. He has also served as a consultant on several films, including The Fountain (Warner Bros, Darren Aronofsky, director) and as a scientific advisor to NOVA.