Join us in welcoming Domenico Napoletani, Ph.D. to Schmid College as a professor of physics. We asked Dr. Napoletani a few questions to get to know him and his research!

Q & A with Dr. Napoletani

What is your current area of research and how did you become passionate about this area?

I am currently working on some foundational aspects of quantum mechanics. I became deeply interested in this project while exploring the structure of thought experiments associated to basic physical principles. For several years now, I have been working on the philosophy of data science, and my research in this field convinced me that we need a deeper understanding of the role of imagination and sensorial experience in identifying fruitful scientific ideas. In a way, the more we rely on computers to simulate scientific models, the more we must learn how to explore the basic principles on which those models are based.

What’s your favorite thing about being a professor?

I love those moments in class discussions when students come up with novel ideas together as a group. This can happen only when there is enough mutual trust, and everyone feels free to share opinions and doubts on the topic being discussed. Sometimes, as each student builds on the thoughts of another, ideas seem almost to come to life, and the whole class can enjoy seeing their richness as they unfold.

Schmid College believes that the best science happens when diverse individuals are supported, included and empowered to share their voices as a part of scientific discovery. Please share with us what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to you and why they’re important.

We all share a profound ability to generate insight whenever we experience wonder, and a diversity of such insights, cultural perspectives, and analogies leads to distinct and mutually enriching questions about empirical phenomena. Inclusion also means this recognition that the process of scientific discovery depends on the broader human experience of each individual.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I am a tree hugger! I enjoy the practice of forest bathing and I find that the best way to learn about nature is to be in its midst.