- Executive Dean
Dean Mafi earned his Ph.D. in theoretical high energy physics from The Ohio State University in 2001. Following postdoctoral appointments at the University of Arizona in Physics and The Optical Sciences Center, he joined Corning Incorporated as a Senior Research Scientist working on optical fibers and liquid crystal displays. He moved to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2008, where he was an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, before moving to the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 2014 as a Professor of Physics & Astronomy. While at UNM, Mafi served as the General Chair of Optical Science and Engineering in 2015 and as the Director of the Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM) from 2016 to 2021. He last served as Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Mexico from 2021 to 2023. He now serves as Executive Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences here at the University of Kansas.
Dean Mafi is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA), a Fellow of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), and a Senior Member of IEEE. He was also a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award in 2013. Physics World of the Institute of Physics (IOP) selected his research group's work on Anderson Localization as a Top 10 Breakthrough in Physics in 2014. Most recently, in 2020, his research group led an international collaboration that demonstrated the first laser cooling of silica, for which they currently hold the world record for cooling. His research focuses on integrating fundamental science and application at the intersection of quantum nonlinear optics and complexity. In recent years, Dr. Mafi has mainly explored the quantum and nonlinear aspects of light-matter interaction in complex and disordered photonic structures, both in fundamental science and device applications.