Four UCLA faculty members are among an esteemed group of 175 of scholars, artists and scientists from the United States and Canada to receive 2013 Guggenheim Fellowships. The new fellows were chosen from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants.
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowships, now in their 89th year, recognize "prior achievement and exceptional promise" and provide grants to support each fellow's work. The foundation has distributed over $306 million in fellowships to more than 17,500 individuals since its establishment in 1925.
This year's UCLA recipients and the projects they will pursue as Guggenheim Fellows are:
Merkurjev, a professor of mathematics, will focus on the complexity of homogeneous spaces in algebra. His research is expected to contribute to the study of fundamental problems in the area of algebraic geometry, including the rationality problem of classifying varieties of algebraic groups. 
Scott is a professor of art history and founding director (2003–11) of the UCLA/Getty Program in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation. He will research and write about artistic fakes and forgeries in an effort to integrate the artistic connoisseurship of fakes with what he terms "scientific connoisseurship." His exploration of the issue of fakes will involve a definition of terms, the application of these terms to works of art, and an examination of how this affects the evaluation of the works concerned. A philosophical discussion regarding the perception of the "real," the "faked" and the reproduction will be an essential part of this research.
Shayegan, an associate professor of Iranian and the inaugural holder of UCLA's Musa Sabi Term Chair in Iranian Studies (2005–09), directs the Program of Iranian Studies in UCLA's Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. He will be working on the first installment of his multi-volume history of the Sasanian Empire (third–seventh century A.D.), the last great oriental power of antiquity, which at its height ruled over much of Central Asia and the Near East. Shayegan's project, which crosses time periods and linguistic boundaries, will highlight both the empire's specificity and its profound interconnectedness with other polities in the ancient world.
Von Glahn, a history professor who teaches courses in Chinese and world history, will complete a book on China's economic history from antiquity to the 19th century, the first comprehensive survey of the pre-modern Chinese economy to appear in any Western language.
The four scholars from UCLA join a prestigious group of Guggenheim Fellows from all sectors of the arts and sciences, including Ansel Adams, W.H. Auden, Aaron Copland, Martha Graham, Langston Hughes, Henry Kissinger, Vladimir Nabokov, Isamu Noguchi, Linus Pauling, Philip Roth, Paul Samuelson, Wendy Wasserstein, Derek Walcott, James Watson and Eudora Welty.
For a full list of 2013 Guggenheim Fellows, visit
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