Ishani A. Karmarkar Receives 2020 Henry Ford II Scholar Award
Applied and computational mathematics student Ishani A. Karmarkar is a recipient of the 2020 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. Ishani is interested in data science and numerical algorithms, as well as applications to physical problems. This summer, she will be working on a SURF project on graph-based semi-supervised learning algorithms with Bamdad Hosseini, Senior Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate, and Andrew Stuart, Bren Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences. In the past, she has also worked on a fluid modelling project with Sandra Troian, Professor of Applied Physics, Aeronautics, and Mechanical Engineering, and completed a summer internship at Facebook. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.
Henry Ford II Scholar Award
Myra Cheng Receives Goldwater Scholarship
Myra Cheng, an undergraduate student in computing and mathematical sciences, has been selected to receive a Goldwater Scholarship. The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program awards scholarships to college sophomores or juniors who intend to pursue research careers in science, mathematics, and engineering. Myra works with Yisong Yue, Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, and Joel Burdick, Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Research Scientist, on optimization algorithms that can learn individual preferences based on real-time interaction with people. These algorithms can be used in wearable exoskeletons that help mobility-impaired individuals walk. "I'm interested in how machine learning interacts with humans and, more broadly, human society," she says. Cheng has also been working with Katie Bouman, Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Electrical Engineering and Astronomy; Rosenberg Scholar, and Claire Ralph, Lecturer in Computing and Mathematical Sciences; Director, Career Development Center, on developing algorithms that address questions of explainability and algorithms that affect social change. [Caltech story]
IRCA Best Paper Awards
Two teams of Caltech researchers have won three International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) Best Paper Awards in multiple categories along with the overall best paper award. The ICRA is the largest and most prestigious robotics conference of the year. Awards are given on the basis of technical merit, originality, potential impact on the field, clarity of the written paper, and quality of the presentation. Maegan Tucker, Ellen Novoseller, Claudia Kann, Yanan Sui, Yisong Yue, Joel Burdick, and Aaron Ames, have won the ICRA Best Conference Paper Award and the ICRA Best Paper Award on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) for their paper entitled "Preference-Based Learning for Exoskeleton Gait Optimization." Amanda Bouman, Paul Nadan, Matthew Anderson, Daniel Pastor, Jacob Izraelevitz, Joel Burdick, and Brett Kennedy, have won the ICRA Best Paper Award on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for their paper entitled "Design and Autonomous Stabilization of a Ballistically Launched Multirotor." [Virtual Award Ceremony]
Caleb Sander Receives 2020 Henry Ford II Scholar Award
Computer science student Caleb Sander, advised by Thomas Vidick, Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, is a recipient of the 2020 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. Caltech classes have introduced Caleb to surprising new interests, like the philosophical questions posed by physics and Omer Tamuz’s game theory class, which convinced him to also major in Economics. His favorite experiences at Caltech have been helping students learn by serving as a teaching assistant in five computer science courses. This summer he will work remotely as a software engineering intern at Facebook, and he will likely look for a job in the software industry. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.
Henry Ford II Scholar Award
Dessie DiMino and Niv Karthikeyan Receive James King Jr. Award
Computing and Mathematical Sciences students Dessie DiMino and Niv Karthikeyan are recipients of the 2020 James King Jr. Award. The award is given annual by the Caltech Center for Diversity to an individual who stands out as a strong supporter of diversity. One of Dessie's nominators stated, "More than anything, Dessie's always inspired me by her ability to spend one minute jumping into the battlefield and leading the charge and another minute reaching out to someone who's struggling and being a soft shoulder to lean on." A nomination for Niv stated, "It is hard for me to imagine a person more deserving of a Diversity Award than Niv," adding, "She is incredibly supportive and has been a wonderful resource for both people in her house and for undergraduates in general, helping people through crises and dealing with harassment or discrimination. Niv is an incredible ally and champion of equality on campus." [Past Winners]
James King Jr. Award
Professor Vahala Elected to the National Academy of Engineering
Kerry J. Vahala, Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Applied Physics; Executive Officer for Applied Physics and Materials Science, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Professor Vahala was elected for “research and application of nonlinear optical microresonators to the miniaturization of precision time and frequency systems." Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature," and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education." [NAE release]
National Academy of Engineering
Joel Tropp Elected Fellow of IEEE
Joel A. Tropp, Steele Family Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics, has been elected as a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his contributions to sparse signal processing. The IEEE Fellow is one of the most prestigious honors of the IEEE, and is bestowed upon a very limited number of Senior Members who have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology.