Advisory Committee

Tamer Başar
CAS Director
CAS Professor of
Electrical & Computer
Engineering (chair)

Renée Baillargeon
CAS Professor of Psychology

Leon Dash
CAS Professor of Journalism & Law

Martha Gillette
CAS Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology

Anthony Leggett
CAS Professor of Physics

Michael Moore
CAS Professor of Law and Philosophy

Gene Robinson
CAS Professor of Entomology

Masumi Iriye
CAS Deputy Director (ex officio)

GAM Programs Committee

Christopher Higgins
Education Policy, Organization & Leadership (interim chair)

Timothy Bretl
Aerospace Engineering

Tamara Chaplin

Brian DeMarco

Bill Hammack
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Masumi Iriye
CAS Deputy Director (ex officio)

Jennifer Robbennolt

Vallerie Robinson

Spencer Schaffner

Lawrence B Schook
Animal Sciences



 Tamer Başar


CAS Professor Tamer Başar (Electrical & Computer Engineering) was appointed Director in August 2014. Professor Başar also holds the Swanlund chair. (See CAS Professor entry for more information.)


Masumi Iriye

Deputy Director

Masumi Iriye was appointed assistant director of the Center in October 2000 and promoted to associate director in October 2001. In October 2009 she was promoted to Deputy Director.  She is responsible for overseeing all Center programs, including the Research Appointments (Associates and Fellows) program, the annual interdisciplinary initiative and the George A. Miller Programs, and also serves as the primary liaison at the Center for the CAS Professors. She received her doctorate in the History of Art in 1994 (University of Michigan), specializing in visual culture from the early modern period in France. Her dissertation research was supported by a Bourse Chateaubriand, Fulbright Travel Fellowship and Rackham Graduate Research awards (University of Michigan). She has presented papers as an invited participant at Dumbarton Oaks (Washington, D.C.) and the Center for 21st-Century Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has served as both a panelist and cochair for meetings of the College Art Association.  Since 2010 she has been Costume Mistress and Board Member of Champaign Urbana Ballet.


Rita Conerly

Office Support Associate

Rita Conerly has been with the Center since March 2015.  Since 2010, she has held numerous positions at the University of Illinois, most recently in the School of Music.  Rita is primarily responsible for maintaining, monitoring, and articulating the budgets of the various CAS programs. She is also responsible for processing reimbursements, biennial inventories, honoraria, and fund transfers for various professors and program accounts. Additionally, she provides support for CAS’s public events including mailings, set-up/cleanup of events held at the Center, and many other duties as needed.


Candace Koester

Office Support Specialist

Candace Koester joined the Center staff in May 2010. Candace has been on campus for 24 years, the last 22 at Campus Recreation.  She is primarily responsible for coordination and dissemination of information pertaining to scheduled public events and activities, preparing written correspondence, maintaining Center’s database, generating event and activity reports, and coordinating meetings and recurring activities such as the Fall roundtable and other events involving CAS Associates and Fellows.  In addition, she assists with website updates, Release Time Program and George A. Miller Programs applications and Professor Election processes.


Liesel E Wildhagen

Long-time member of the Center for Advanced Study staff, Liesel Wildhagen retired from her position as Coordinator of Public Events on December 31, 2015. We wish Liesel all the best and look forward to seeing her as an audience member at CAS events.