Three Georgia Tech Researchers Honored as Sloan Fellows
Prestigious award given to “rising stars”
Posted February 24, 2012 | Atlanta, GA
Three faculty members from the Georgia Institute of Technology were awarded 2012 Sloan Research Fellowships by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Grigoriy Blekherman, Prasad Raghavendra and Frank Stewart were among the 126 outstanding researchers selected from across the country and were the only recipients from the University System of Georgia. The fellowships, given annually since 1955, honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as the next generation of scientific leaders.
Blekherman and Stewart are both assistant professors in the College of Sciences.
In the School of Mathematics, Blekherman works in the area of convex algebraic geometry, which has applications in both engineering and computer science. His primary research focuses on understanding systems of inequality, and effective ways to explain the lack of solutions in those systems.
An assistant professor in the School of Biology, Stewart’s research is focused on understanding how a lack of oxygen affects the biological diversity and ecological function of marine ecosystems. He studies regions of the ocean that are, for the most part, permanently devoid of oxygen, also known as oxygen minimum zones. This award will help him to better understand the genomic diversity, evolution and metabolism of the unique bacteria residing in these oxygen minimum zones that use sulfur for energy in the way other organisms use carbon or nitrogen.
Before joining the College of Computing faculty in 2010, Raghavendra spent a year doing postdoctoral work for Microsoft Research New England. Also a 2012 recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, his research is focused on designing efficient approximation algorithms and understanding their limits.
Administered and funded by the Sloan Foundation, the fellowships are awarded in close cooperation with the scientific community. Potential fellows must be nominated for recognition by their peers and are subsequently selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.
The $50,000 fellowships are historically awarded in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience and physics. The fellowships were expanded this year to include awards for eight young researchers working in ocean sciences.