OTC News Archive

Six assistant professors win CAREER awards from National Science Foundation

University of Texas Office of Public Affairs
April 1, 2011

Six assistant professors at The University of Texas at Austin received Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards totaling nearly $3 million from the National Science Foundation. The CAREER awards recognize promising young faculty and supports their research with five years of funding.

The recipients are:
Amit Bhasin, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. The $400,000 project is to conduct research and provide the fundamental knowledge to chemically modify asphalt binders that will yield superior self-healing and mechanical properties.

Constantine Caramanis, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The $400,000 project is to develop a new methodological framework to understand high dimensional complex phenomena from potentially corrupted and incomplete data. This research has the potential to significantly affect abilities to discover important structure in complex problems, from bioinformatics to social networks.

Christopher Ellison, Department of Chemical Engineering. The $500,000 project is to provide better understanding of polymer physics to improve advanced materials design. The research could lead to improvements in hard drive lubricants, to make data storage more reliable, and in microelectronics manufacturing, to make smaller, more efficient electronic components.

Jung-Fu Lin, Department of Geological Sciences. The $538,000 project investigates the alloying effects of major candidate light elements on the phase diagram and elasticity of iron under relevant pressures and temperatures of the Earth’s core in order to address pressing issues of its composition, thermal structures and seismic features.

Mikhail Matz, Section of Integrative Biology. The $674,000 project will be the first to address genetics of coral adaptation in nature, which will clarify some of the most fundamental mechanisms of evolution in the oceans. The project is to establish genetic markers to assess the risk of extinction of individual reefs, which will help prioritize conservation efforts.

Michael Walfish, Department of Computer Science. The $450,000 project investigates ways of outsourcing computation without having to trust or assume that the entities providing computing resources are actually working correctly. This could make cloud computing safer, spurring the adoption of cloud services, causing more people to pay less for computing.