CEMS Faculty Nationally Recognized for Excellence ­ Early Career Awards

As classes are taught, homework is assigned, and students rush from building to building to catch the next lecture, it's worth taking a moment to stop and reflect on the world-class stature achieved by the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) professors who are giving those lectures. Many CEMS professors are top researchers who have been recognized for unique and groundbreaking contributions in their fields. CEMS is for- tunate to boast several faculty members who are winners of early career awards--highly competitive, prestigious national awards for research contributions made early in one's career.

Dr. Joshua Bongard, Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at UVM and CEMS, was recently named by President Obama as one of 94 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scien- tists and Engineers (PECASE) for his outstanding work in the field of robotics. This award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Dr. Bongard is the second researcher in UVM history to receive the award. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Zürich and also received two other distinguished awards: the 2009 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for research entitled, "Investigating the Ultimate Mechanisms of Embodied Cognition," and the 2007 New Faculty Fellowship Award from Microsoft Research.

"President Obama's recognition of UVM professor Joshua Bongard as an outstanding researcher is a much de- served honor for Josh. His contributions in the fields of robotics and machine learning represent innovative, technological advancements with potentially vast applications," said CEMS Interim Dean Bernard "Chip" Cole, who added, "Our UVM community of innovative and award-winning computer scientists, engineers and math- ematicians continues to gather momentum and acclaim as the research mission grows, and we seek to address important challenges on the local, national, and global levels." Other CEMS professors recognized early in their careers include (in alphabetical order):

Dr. Daniel Bentil is Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics with a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford. Dr. Bentil has a secondary appointment in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, and received the 1995 National Science CAREER Award for his research entitled, "Career development in mathematical biology," with research and educational components. The research component concerned studies on molecular muscle mechanics; the educational component focused on the development of an interdisciplinary mathematical biology curriculum for undergraduate and beginning graduate students at UVM.

Dr. Peter Sheridan Dodds is Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics with a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Dodds received the 2009 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for research entitled, "Explorations of Complex Social and Psychological Phenomena through Multiscale Online Sociological Experiments, Empirical Studies, and Theoretical Models."

Dr. Mary Dunlop is Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering with a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Dunlop received the 2011 Department of Energy Early CAREER Award for research entitled, "Engineering Robust Hosts for Microbial Biofuel Production."

Dr. Darren Hitt is Associate Professor in the School of Engineering with a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. A mechanical engineer, Dr. Hitt received the 2001 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for research entitled, "Micro-scale flow branching of complex fluids." Visit: www.cems.uvm.edu/outreach

Dr. Britt A. Holmén is Associate Professor in the School of Engineering with a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A civil and environmental engineer, Dr. Holmén received the 2002 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her environmental engineering research entitled, "Vehicle-derived ultrafine particles and their adsorbates: Formation and aging effects on organic composition and size distribution."

Dr. Jeffrey Marshall is Professor in the School of Engineering with a Ph.D. from the University of California - Berkeley. Dr. Marshall received the Army Research Office Young Investigator Award for his 1992-1995 research grant entitled, "The fluid mechanics of vortex cutting by a blade."

Dr. Frederic Sansoz is Associate Professor in the School of Engineering with a Ph.D. from the Ecole des Mines de Paris. An expert in nanomaterials and nanomechanics, Dr. Sansoz recently received a 2008 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research entitled, "Microstructure and size effects on metal plasticity at limited length scale."

Dr. Christian Skalka is Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science with a Ph.D. from John Hopkins University. Dr Skalka received the Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) Award in 2008 for research entitled, "A language-based approach to wireless sensor network security."

Dr. John Voight is Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics with a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Voight has received three prestigious awards: in 2010, the Selfridge prize for the best paper presented during the Ninth Algorithmic Number Theory Symposium (ANTS IX) held at INRIA in Nancy, France; and in 2009: The National Science Foundation Division of Mathematical Sciences Award for research entitled, "Quaternion algebras, Shimura curves, and modular forms: Algorithms and arithmetic"; and the National Security Agency (NSA) Young Investigator Grant for research entitled, "Topics in number theory: Geometry, cohomology and algorithms."

Dr. X. Sean Wang is the Dorothean Professor in the Department of Computer Science with a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. Dr. Wang received the 1999 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research entitled, "Towards data base support for on-line time series analysis."

Dr. Greg Warrington is Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard University, is a recipient of a 2003 NSA Young Investigator's Award, and held a 2008 Simons Foundation Collaboration Grant.