March 23, 2009

NSF and Sloan Foundation Recognize Six Cornell Faculty Members

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Cornell’s world-class faculty has continued to garner accolades, as six professors were recently recognized for their teaching and research. Three faculty members received Early Career Development Awards through the National Science Foundation, while three other young faculty were recognized as Sloan Foundation Research fellows.
Prof. Lara Estroff, materials science and engineering, was given a five-year $465,000 grant through the NSF to research “how polymer networks become incorporated into macroscopic, single crystals,” according to the University. Estroff’s research group — which focuses on “bio-inspired materials-synthesis,” according to her research group’s website — could lead to the development of new pharmaceuticals. The money will also work to grow her new group, Women in Materials Science and Engineering, and create programs for primary and secondary school students.
Combining computing and social science will the objective of the research by Prof. Daniel Cosley, information science, who received another of the NSF Early Career Development Awards. His $499,942 grant will help him to develop applications that encourage participation in online networks and strengthen relationships within online communities, according to the University.
Prof. Maxim Perelstein, physics, received his $400,000 award to collect data for a theoretical interpretation of CERN laboratory’s Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. His proposal also involved education for K-12 students, according to the University, as well as an examination of how particle physics has spurred the development of technology transfer.
The two-year Sloan Research Fellowship will go to three Cornell faculty, among them Prof. Peng Chen, chemistry and chemical biology. Peng’s research seeks to understand the behavior of single nanoparticles in order to uncover “the properties of biological systems and nanoscale materials,” according to his personal website. Prof. Liam McAllister, physics, uses string theory to answer “longstanding questions about the early universe,” according to the University. His Sloan Fellowship recognizes his work, among other things, “understanding the primordial gravitational waves as a probe of physics at extremely high energies.”
Finally, Prof. Adam Siepel, biological statistics and computational biology received a Sloan Fellowship for his work combining statistics, computer science, evolutionary biology and genomics.
The Sloan awardees will each receive $50,000 from the Sloan Foundation — disbursed through the University — over a two year period, according to the foundation’s website.