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Press Release

Teresa Thomas

For immediate release:
March 15, 2006

Five Carnegie Mellon University Faculty Members Receive Prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships

PITTSBURGH—The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has selected five Carnegie Mellon University faculty members to receive prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships: Catalina Achim, Justin Crowley, Carlos Guestrin, Doug James and Adrian Perrig. These recipients are among 116 scientists nationwide receiving the award this year.

Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded to young researchers who have shown great potential to advance knowledge in their field. Sloan Fellows are chosen from the fields of chemistry, neuroscience, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics and physics. Each fellow will receive a two-year, $45,000 grant to pursue his or her research.

"It is a tremendous honor for Carnegie Mellon that five of our young faculty members have received this extremely competitive award. As Sloan Research Fellows, these faculty members join an elite group of young researchers who are at the frontiers of their respective research fields," said Carnegie Mellon Provost and Senior Vice President Mark S. Kamlet.

Catalina Achim
Catalina Achim, assistant professor of chemistry in the Mellon College of Science, was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship to support her research on incorporating metal ions into peptide nucleic acids, structures that potentially could be used as molecular-scale devices — tiny replicas of today's electronic circuit components, such as wires, diodes and transistors.

Justin Crowley
Justin Crowley, an assistant professor of biological sciences in the Mellon College of Science, received a fellowship to extend his research on the formation of neural circuits — the intricate network of connections neurons make with one another — in the primary visual cortex, the region of the brain that initially processes visual signals.

Carlos Guestrin
Carlos Guestrin, assistant professor in the School of Computer Science's Center for Automated Learning and Discovery and Computer Science Department, was awarded a Sloan grant to support his development of efficient methods for designing, analyzing and controlling large, complex systems, particularly wireless sensor networks, where change and uncertainty are givens.

Doug L. James
Doug L. James, assistant professor of computer science and robotics in the School of Computer Science, received a Sloan Fellowship to continue his work on developing fast, efficient ways for computers to simulate dynamics and collisions involving flexible objects. These simulations have potential uses in interactive computer graphics, computer animation, videogames, surgical simulation and robotic manipulation.

Adrian Perrig
Adrian Perrig, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and engineering and public policy in the College of Engineering, received his award for his continuing work in securing the Internet, including securing sensor networks and operating platforms.

"Sloan Research Fellowships were created by Alfred P. Sloan Jr. in 1955 to provide crucial and flexible funds to outstanding researchers early in their academic careers," said Ralph E. Gomory, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, in a foundation release. "Through the years, these fellowships have helped the research careers of their recipients, and we are very proud to be associated with their achievements."

For a complete listing of the 2006 winners, see


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