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Meet the 2011–12 Emerging Researcher, Scholar, Creator Awardees

February 28, 2012


Each year, Mason selects three faculty members who show exceptional promise in their disciplines to receive Emerging Researcher, Scholar, Creator Awards. To qualify for this award and its $3,000 stipend, the faculty member must be within 10 years of receiving his or her terminal degree and have growing national and international recognition for his or her work.

Peter Leeson

Peter Leeson, the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism, joined Mason in 2007.

His current studies in law and economics focus primarily on medieval judicial practices in dispute resolution and examines the role of beliefs in sustaining systems of law and order, the informational properties of various judicial procedures, and the efficiency properties of the property rights structure and legal arrangements. He has tackled the subject of the law and economics of superstition across cultures and over time.

His recent book, The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates, has earned him international fame as an economist of uncanny insight and awards from numerous academic societies and other media.

Leeson received a BA summa cum laude from Hillsdale College and a PhD from Mason. He was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University in 2004 and the F.A. Hayek Fellow at the London School of Economics in 2005. He also is the North American editor of Public Choice and associate editor of Studies in Emergent Order, Journal of Private Enterprise, and Review of Austrian Economics.

Qiliang Li, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, came to Mason in 2007 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology where he was a research scientist.

Qiliang Li

Since joining Mason, Li has established an experimental lab for research in nanoelectronics. His research efforts involve the development of electronic devices so small that the interatomic interactions and quantum-mechanical properties of these devices are significant and must be taken into account in their design. Li’s recent work has concentrated on the properties of nanoscale devices based on semiconductor nanowires, which are structures on the order of tens of nanometers or less in diameter. Li and his colleagues are also working on high-impact applications of these devices to computer memories, biomedicine, and solar energy cells.

Li received a PhD in electrical and computer engineering from North Carolina State University. He also has an MS from Nanjing University and a BS from Wuhan University. In addition, Li holds a Virginia Microelectronics Consortium Professorship and received a National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2009.

Siddhartha Sikdar, a member of the bioengineering and electrical and computer engineering faculty, has since 2008 held an appointment at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study.

His research interests are in the development and clinical translation of new diagnostic ultrasound imaging techniques and applications, and the application of bioengineering concepts, tools and techniques for investigating the pathophysiology of soft tissue pain syndromes and understanding complex muscle disorders.

Siddhartha Sikdar

Sikdar has forged a number of external and internal collaborations, foremost among them a partnership with Lynn Gerber, MD, director of the Center for the Study of Chronic Illness and Disability in the College of Health and Human Services. He is also working with other researchers at  Mason’s College of Science, the NIH Clinical Center, the University of Maryland Medical Center, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Baltimore, and others.

He earned a bachelor of technology degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India, and an MS and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle. In 2010, Sikdar was recognized by the National Science Foundation with a CAREER award.


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