Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY (2008–Present)
- Teaching and developing courses in mathematics and physics, with emphases on light, sound, personal finance, and numeracy.
- Research and writing on – college costs and affordability.
- Serving on a number of committees at the department, school, and institute level that deal with issues of curriculum, peer review, faculty development, and campus diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Anvik Corporation, Hawthorne, NY (2005–2008)
Research Staff Member
- Developed laser and process technology for lithography, photoablation, excimer laser crystallization, and other materials-processing applications.
- Researched microdischarge arrays on flexible substrates for lighting applications.
- Investigated laser based annealing techniques for amorphous Si on glass substrates.
Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan (2001–2004)
Post-doctoral research in the Quantum and Molecular Photonics Laboratory
- Elucidated the role of the pump beam polarization in controlling distributed feedback (DFB) laser behavior including laser threshold and emission measurements.
- Demonstrated fast wavelength switching and polarimetry applications with samples having up to four multiplexed DFB lasers.
- Studied the geometry dependence of the emission properties of organic microdisk lasers that were fabricated in a clean room environment using spin coating, lithography, and reactive ion etching.
- Built an optical setup for the characterization of laser resonators, and developed Labview programs to automate the data acquisition as well as for data analysis.
Stanford University (7/99–11/01) and the University of California, San Diego (6/96–7/99)
Thesis research in the group of Prof. W.E. Moerner
- Developed automated (with Labview) experiments for the study of Photorefractive Polymers including holographic (two and four wave mixing), photoconductive (DC and Time of Flight), and ellipsometric techniques which were employed in conjunction with commercial instruments such as visible and near infrared spectrometry (UV-VIS-NIR), and cyclic voltammetry (CV) to characterize, understand, and improve Photorefractive Polymers.
- Characterized various polymers using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA).
- Used the highest performing materials to demonstrate optical processing applications such as laser based ultrasound detection, image amplification, and novelty filtering.
University of Bayreuth (2000)
Research internship in the Department of Physics
- Conducted studies on novel photorefractive polymer composites with emphasis on understanding charge transport dynamics.
Pennsylvania State University (1994–1995)
Research in the group of Prof. Will Castleman
- Investigated color centers in magnesium oxide clusters in molecular beams.
Stanford University, Stanford California (1999–2001)
Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, November 2001
Thesis Title: “Photorefractive Polymers: Materials, Mechanisms, and Applications”
University of California, San Diego, La Jolla California (1996–1999)
Master of Science degree in Chemistry, June 1998
Grants, Fellowships, and Awards
Pratt Institute Faculty Development Fund (2014)
Funds used to attend and present at the ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency.
Pratt Institute Mellon Research Grant (2008, 2011, and 2013)
Enabled the purchasing of equipment for research projects.
Pratt Institute Mellon Travel Grant (2008)
Supported travel to American Institute for Conservation Annual meeting.
National Science Foundation International Post-doctoral Research Fellowship (2002)
Supported post-doctoral research at Ecole Normal Supérieure de Cachan from 11/2002 to 11/2003.
Chateaubriand Fellowship (2001)
Supported post-doctoral research at Ecole Normal Supérieure de Cachan between 11/2001 and 11/2002.
Peer-reviewed Journal Publications
“New York City can eliminate the carbon footprint of its buildings by 2050” D. Wright, R. Leigh, J. Kleinberg, K. Abbott, J. Scheib Energy for Sustainable Development 23, 46 (2014)
“Spectral encoding of the polarization state of light in spatially multiplexed dye-doped organic distributed feedback lasers” E. Brasselet, D. Wright, J. Zyss, G. Langer, and W. Kern Opt. Lett. 29, 1309 (2004)
“Distributed feedback dye doped organic lasers: The role of pump polarization and molecular orientation” D. Wright, E. Brasselet, J. Zyss, G. Langer, and W. Kern J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 21, 944 (2004)
“All-optical tunability of holographically multiplexed organic distributed feedback lasers” D. Wright, E. Brasselet, J. Zyss, G. Langer, K. F. Iskra, T. Neger, W. Kern and A. Pogantsch, Opt. Express 12, 325–330 (2004)
“Photorefractive Properties of Poly Siloxane-triarylamine Based Composites for High Speed Applications” D. Wright, U. Gubler, W. E. Moerner, M. DeClue and J. S. Siegel J. Phys. Chem. B 107 4732–4737 (2003)
“Synthesis and Photorefractive Properties of Multifunctional glasses” M. He, R. J. Twieg, U. Gubler, D. Wright, and W. E. Moerner Chem. Mater. 15 1156–1164 (2003)
“Recent Advances in Understanding and Development of Photorefractive Polymers and Glasses” O. Ostroverkhova, D. Wright, U. Gubler, W. E. Moerner, M. He, A. Sastre-Santos, and R. J. Twieg Adv. Funct. Mater. 12 621–629 (2002)
“Photochromic polymers for the optical homodyne detection of ultrasonic surface displacements” U. Gubler, D. Wright, W. E. Moerner, and M. B. Klein Opt. Lett. 27, 354–356 (2002).
“Monolithic photorefractive organic glasses with large coupling gain and strong beam fanning”
U. Gubler, M. He, D. Wright, Y. Roh, R. J. Twieg and W. E. Moerner Adv. Mater. 14 313–317 (2002)
“A High Performance Photorefractive Polymer Composite with 2-dicyanomethylene-3-cyano-2,5-dihydrofuran Chromophore” D. Wright, U. Gubler, Y. Roh, W. E. Moerner, M. He, and R. J. Twieg Appl. Phys. Lett. 79 4274-4276 (2001)
“Image amplification and novelty filtering with a photorefractive polymer” A. Goonesekera, D. Wright, and W. E. Moerner Appl. Phys. Lett. 76, 3358–3360 (2000)
“Photorefractive Properties of Poly(N-Vinyl Carbazole)-Based Composites for High Speed Applications” M. A. Díaz-García, D. Wright, J. D. Casperson, B. Smith, E. Glazer, W. E. Moerner, L. I. Sukhomlinova, R. J. Twieg Chem. Mater. 11, 1784–1791 (1999)
“Homodyne Detection of Ultrasonic Surface Displacements Using Two-Wave Mixing in Photorefractive Polymers” M. B. Klein, G. D. Bacher, A. Grunnet-Jepsen, D. Wright and W.E. Moerner Opt. Comm. 162, 79–84 (1999)
“Synthesis of Bifunctional Photorefractive Polymers with Net Gain: Design Strategy Amenable to Combinatorial Optimization” M. S. Bratcher, M. S. DeClue, A. Grunnet-Jepsen, D. Wright, B. R. Smith, W. E. Moerner, and Jay S. Siegel J.A.C.S. 120, 9680–9681 (1998)
“High-speed photorefractive polymer composites” D. Wright, M. A. Díaz-García, J. D. Casperson, M. DeClue, W. E. Moerner and R. J. Twieg Appl. Phys. Lett. 73, 1490–1492 (1998)
“Spectroscopic determination of trap density in C60-sensitized photorefractive polymers” A. Grunnet-Jepsen, D. Wright, B. Smith, M. S. Bratcher, M. S. DeClue, J. S. Siegel, and W. E. Moerner Chem. Phys. Lett. 291, 553–561 (1998)
Reports and Conference Proceedings
“New York City can eliminate the carbon footprint of its buildings by 2050” D. Wright, R. Leigh, J. Kleinberg, K. Abbott, J. Scheib Proceedings of the ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings (2014)
“New York City can reduce its carbon footprint by 90% by 2050” Urban Green Council Website (2013) urbangreencouncil.org/content/projects/90-50
“Advances in polymer based microcavity lasers: Materials, fabrication technologies and physicals properties” T. Ben Messaoud, P. Nagtegaele, D. Wright and J. Zyss AIP Conference Proceedings 709, 150–166 (2004)
“Laser threshold of polymer cylindrical microresonators” T. Ben Messaoud, D. Wright, E. Toussaere, S.X. Dou and J. Zyss Synth. Met. 138, 347–351 (2003)
“High Performance Photorefractive Organic Glasses: Understanding Mechanisms and Limitations” O. Ostroverkhova, U. Gubler, D. Wright, M. He, R. J. Twieg, W. E. Moerner, Proc. Soc. Photo-Opt. Instrum. Engr. 4802, 21–32 (2002).
“Synthesis and Properties of Glassy Organic Multifunctional Photorefractive Materials” He, R. Twieg, U. Gubler, D. Wright, and W. E. Moerner Opt. Mater. 21, 353–357 (2002)
“Dicyanomethylenedihydrofuran photorefractive materials” M. He, R. J. Twieg, O. Ostroverkhova, U. Gubler, D. Wright, W. E. Moerner Proc. Soc. Photo-Opt. Instrum. Engr. 4802, 9–20 (2002)
“Photorefractive polymer design strategies” D. Wright, U. Gubler, W. E. Moerner, M. He, R. J. Twieg, M. DeClue, and J. Siegel Proc. Soc. Photo-Opt. Instrum. Engr. 4462-4418, 125–138 (2001)
“Synthesis and Properties of Some Composite Organic Photorefractive Materials” M. He, R. J. Twieg, U. Gubler, D. Wright, and W. E. Moerner Polym. Preprints 42, 510–511 (2001)
“Photorefractive polymers for laser based ultrasound detection” D. Wright, U. Gubler, M. B. Klein, and W. E. Moerner Proc. Soc. Photo-Opt. Instrum. Engr. 4104, 110–117 (2000)
“High Speed PVK-Based Photorefractive Polymer Composites” M. A. Diaz-Garcia, D. Wright, J. D. Casperson, B. Smith, El Glazer, W. E. Moerner, L. I. Sukhomlinova, and R. J. Twieg Nonlinear Optics 25, 189–194 (2000)
“Homodyne detection of ultrasonic surface displacements using two-wave mixing in photorefractive polymers” M. B. Klein, G. D. Bacher, A. Grunnet-Jepsen, D. Wright, W.E. and Moerner Proc. Soc. Photo-Opt. Instrum. Engr. 3589, 22–29 (1999)
“Design and Optimization of Chromophores for Liquid Crystal and Photorefractive Applications” R. J. Twieg, M. He, L. Sukhomlinova, F. You, W. E. Moerner, M. A. Diaz-Garcia, D. Wright, J. D. Casperson, R. Wortmann, C. Glania, P. Kraemer, K. Lukaszuk, R. Matschiner, K. D. Singer, V. Ostoverkhov, and R. Petschek Proc. Mater. Res. Soc. 561, 119–130 (1999)
“Understanding Photorefractivity in High-Performance Polymer Composites” W.E. Moerner, A. Grunnet-Jepsen, D. Wright, J. D. Casperson, M. S. DeClue, J. S. Siegel, and R. J. Twieg OSA Trends in Optics and Photonics Volume 27, Advances in Photorefractive Materials, Effects, and Devices, P. E. Andersen, P. M. Johansen, H. C. Pedersen, P. M. Petersen, and M. Saffman, Eds. (Optical Society of America, Washington, DC, 1999), pp. 164–172
“Trapping studies on photorefractive polymers” D. Wright, A. Grunnet-Jepsen, M. A. Diaz-Garcia, J. D. Casperson, B. Smith, M. S. Bratcher, M. S. DeClue, J. S. Siegel, W. E. Moerner, and R. J. Twieg Proc. Soc. Photo-Opt. Instrum. Engr. 3471, 60–71 (1998)
“Fast and Efficient Photorefractivity in Polymer Composites” W. E. Moerner, M. A. Díaz-García, D. Wright, B. Smith, J. D. Casperson, M. S. Bratcher, M. S. DeClue, J. S. Siegel Polymer Preprints 39, 980 (1998)
“New York City can eliminate the carbon footprint of its buildings by 2050” D. Wright, R. Leigh, J. Kleinberg, K. Abbott, J. Scheib ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Pacific Grove, California (2014)
“New York City can eliminate the carbon footprint of its buildings by 2050” D. Wright, R. Leigh, J. Kleinberg, K. Abbott, J. Scheib CIBSE ASHRAE Technical Symposium 2014 Dublin, Ireland (2014)
“New York City can eliminate the carbon footprint of its buildings by 2050” D. Wright, R. Leigh, J. Kleinberg, K. Abbott, J. Scheib NYC Department of Design and Construction Speaker series NY, NY (2013)
“New York City can eliminate the carbon footprint of its buildings by 2050” D. Wright, R. Leigh, J. Kleinberg, K. Abbott, J. Scheib NYC ASHRAE NY, NY (2013)
“New York City can reduce its carbon footprint by 90% by 2050” D. Wright, R. Leigh, J. Kleinberg, K. Abbott, J. Scheib Pratt Institute Sustainability Crash Course, Brooklyn, NY (2013).
“Polarization sensitive multiplexed organic DFB lasers” D. Wright, E. Brasselet, J. Zyss, G. Langer, A. Pogantsch, and W. Kern C.L.E.O. annual meeting Baltimore, Maryland (2004)
“Optical properties of tunable organic DFB lasers” D. Wright, E. Brasselet, J. Zyss, G. Langer, A. Pogantsch, K. F. Iskra, and W. Kern O.S.A. Organic Thin Films Topical Meeting Tucson, Arizona (2003)
“Optical properties of tunable organic DFB lasers” (poster) D. Wright, E. Brasselet, J. Zyss, G. Langer, A. Pogantsch, K. F. Iskra, and W. Kern 7th European Conference on Molecular Electronics (ECME) Avignon, France (2003)
“Photorefractive polymer design strategies” (invited talk) D. Wright, U. Gubler, W. E. Moerner, M. He, R. J. Twieg, M. DeClue, and J. Siegel S.P.I.E. annual meeting San Diego, California (2001)
“A new charge transport polymer for photorefractive applications” D. Wright, U. Gubler, W. E. Moerner, M. DeClue, and J. Siegel C.L.E.O. annual meeting Baltimore, Maryland (2001)
“Laser based ultrasound detection with photorefractive polymers” (contributed talk) D. Wright, U. Gubler, M. B. Klein, and W. E. Moerner S.P.I.E. annual meeting San Diego, California (2000)
“Extended dihydropyridine chromophores for photorefractive polymers” D. Wright, J. D. Casperson, F. You, R. J. Twieg, and W. E. Moerner O.S.A. Organic Thin Films Topical Meeting Santa Clara, California (1999)
“Trapping Studies on Photorefractive Polymers” D. Wright, A. Grunnet-Jepsen, B. Smith, J. D. Casperson, M. S. Bratcher, M. S. DeClue, M. A. Diaz-Garcia, R. J. Twieg, J. S. Siegel and W. E. Moerner S.P.I.E. annual meeting San Diego, California (1998)
The Physics of Acoustic Music (2019–present): In this course, students explore the underlying physics behind music. It starts with a general description of sound waves and then delves into how sound is produced by musical instruments. We cover how music is perceived, including the functioning of our ears, and analyze notes, musical scales and chords in terms of the frequencies involved.
Per$onal Finance Math (2019–present): This course is designed to improve the financial literacy of its students. Discussion of money flows the way it does through our lives, from earning it, to paying (and avoiding) taxes, to spending, saving, investing, and borrowing when we don’t have enough money to get what we want or need. The course leads students on the path to equipping themselves with the necessary tools and knowhow to handle money in a smart and informed way.
The Science of Light (2009–present): This introduction to light and optical phenomena in nature and technology acquaints students with various physical aspects of light. We delve into optical effects in nature such as the formation of rainbows, the colors of the sky and bubbles, mirages, the formation of images by our eyes and reception of those images by the rods and cones of our retinas. The use of light in technology is explored by examining topics such as fiber optics, light sources (from the sun to light bulbs to pixels), one-way mirrors, 3D movie glasses, and image formation with pinholes, lenses and mirrors. Special attention is paid to the operating principles and functioning of cameras, from their lenses, to their viewfinders, apertures, and filters.
Courses in Development
The Physics of Electrified Music: This course will be focused on the physics involved in the electrification of music production, recording, and manipulation, including instruments, speakers, microphones, filters, and recording media from wax to MP3s.
Subversive Mathematics (2014–2018): In this course students are exposed to the use and abuse of mathematics in many realms of everyday life. They become smarter consumers by becoming familiar with methods of financing and investment, more conscientious consumers by learning how the environmental sustainability of your consumption can be assessed, and more informed citizens though understanding of how mathematics and statistics are used in politics.
Astronomy (2009–2014): Course in basic astronomy, which provides an overview of our current understanding of the universe around us. Topics include the origin of the universe, galaxies, stars, planets, interstellar matter, black holes, supernovas, space travel, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life, as well as the observational techniques we use to reveal the universe.
Conceptual Physics (2009–2010): Introduction to physics that uses only simple mathematics. It exposes students to some of the scientific phenomena that they will encounter in their professional and personal lives.
Ecology for Architects (2015): Course that addresses the need for architects to understand the ways in which organisms interact with the environment and other organisms. Students investigate topics in Ecology that enable them to think more broadly about what it means to design living and working spaces.
Environmental Science for Construction Managers (2012–2016): Course that introduces concepts in the natural, biological and physical sciences that prepare students to understand the environmental impact of their construction choices.
Green Building Science (2012): This course equips students with an introduction to the technical knowledge they will need to assess the true sustainability of design and construction options in building design. Drawing on physics, engineering, chemistry, and environmental studies, students learn how to understand the performance of a building from the perspectives of water use and waste disposal, heat flow and energy consumption, air flow and the indoor environment, fenestration and lighting requirements.
Introduction to Physics and Chemistry (2008–2010): This introduction to chemistry and physics uses only simple mathematics but is a sufficiently rigorous exposure to science designed to prepared architects for their courses involving the science of building and building materials.
The Physics of Music (2012–2018): In this course, students explore the underlying physics behind music. It starts with a general description of sound waves and then delves into how sound is produced by musical instruments. We cover how music is perceived, including the functioning of our ears, and analyze notes, musical scales and chords in terms of the frequencies involved. We also and examine the electrification of instruments, including the operating principles of speakers and microphones, and the recording of music from wax to MP3s.
Service and Administrative Work at Pratt Institute
In the Mathematics and Science Department:
Director, STEAMplant Initiative (2016–present) – Developing an interdisciplinary Center that fosters interdisciplinary collaborations between faculty, graduate students, and resident artists and designers.
Member, Department Curriculum Committee (2008–2016): Reviewed course proposals and participated in the development of curricular standards.
Chair, Department Curriculum Committee (2010–2014): Developed and updated standards for curricular review, created and maintained a committee website for dissemination of committee documents, developed a guidebook for course applications for use by department faculty, and oversaw and directed the review of course and minor proposals.
Member, Department Peer Review Committee (2009–2010, 2012–2016, 2018–present): Participated in the development of department standards and procedures on advancement, reappointment, promotion, and tenure.
In the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences:
Member, School General Education Committee (2013–2017, 2018–2019): Developed recommendations for changes and improvements to Pratt’s general education program, participated in and presented at school and institute wide meetings on general education, and participated in the subcommittee on Student/Alumni Surveys.
Chair, School Curriculum Committee (2014–2016): Coordinated the review process of all course, minor, and program applications at the school level and the development and dissemination of school curricular standards and procedures.
Chair, Sound & Music Minor Committee (2013–2015): Developed a minor in Sound & Music. Found appropriate faculty in the School of Liberal & Sciences to participate in the minor’s development, and organized several meetings to discuss the minors mission, objectives, and structure. Gathered information, syllabi, and other relevant resources and created a LMS site for their distribution to committee members.
Member, Critical and Visual Studies Curriculum Committee (2008–2009): Participated in discussions on the development of the Critical and Visual Studies program.
At the Institutional Level:
Member, Academic Policies Committee (2016–2017, 2018–present): Engaging in discussions centered on various academic policies that are being reexamined, updated, and revamped.
Member, Diversity Council subcommittee on Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Student Body (2018–2020)
Presenter, 2019, “Studio Vs. Non Studio Courses,” Center for Teaching & Learning.
Co-chair, Black Lives Matter at Pratt Community Group (2016–2017): Worked on initiatives with the Pratt administration to create a Director of Programming position, Black Lives Matter at Pratt events including a yearly teach-in, and a Chief Diversity Officer position. Raised funds for and assisted in the organization of the 2017 BLM at Pratt Teach-in. Directed the creation of an Inclusive Pedagogy Scholars Program. Organized and chaired meetings to discuss issues of equity, inclusion, and social justice with BLM members.
Member, Diversity Steering Committee (2016–2017): Participated in the development of the diversity/equity/inclusion section of the 2018–2023 strategic plan.
Member, Diversity Sub-Committee on Welcoming Environments (2016–2017): Worked on the development of the section of the diversity strategic plan that will focus on creating an environment at the institute where all students, faculty and staff believe they belong and matter.
Member, Department Sustainability Coordinators (2016–2017): Participated in discussions of how sustainability concepts are treated across the institute and share strategies and resources across departments with the potential to both develop future curricula and develop tools to assess the curriculum.
Member, Black Lives Matter at Pratt Teach-in Steering Committee (2016): Participated in the planning, organization, and execution of a campus wide teach-in event April 8th & 9th with over 20 sessions. The teach-in featured a full program of lectures, workshops, discussions, readings, and performances on campus.
Member, Social Practice Group (2015–2017): Participated in the organization, development, and implementation of a series of campus events including presentations, film screenings, discussion sessions and workshops, and helped develop a minor in Social Justice and Practice.
Member, Faculty Development Grant Committee (2011, 2013): Reviewed and made recommendations on funding applications from Pratt faculty for professional development and research.
Presenter, 2011 & 2014, “Learning Management System grading and assessment techniques”, Educational Technology Seminar Series.
Member, Academic Senate Academic Programs and Policies Committee (2009–2010): Reviewed and made recommendations on course applications at the institute level.
English: Native language
French: Fluent, lived and worked in Paris for three years
Spanish: Conversational, completed five week intensive course at Amigos Del Sol, Oaxaca, Mexico