Faculty Awarded 3 Sloan Fellowships

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Only three faculty members from the state of Georgia have been awarded the 2011 Sloan Research Fellowships by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation — and they were all from Georgia Tech.

Awarded annually since 1955, the two-year fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars in recognition of achievement and the potential to contribute substantially to their fields. This year, 118 researchers from across the country received the honor.

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.

“We were so pleased to learn that three of our faculty members were the only recipients in the state selected to receive Sloan Research Fellowships,” said Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “I want to commend each of them for their efforts.”

The Tech faculty members who received the fellowships are:

  • Silas Alben, an assistant professor in the School of Mathematics. Alben studies how fluids flow and exert forces on flexible solid bodies. His research is designed to enhance understanding of how fish swim in an effort to guide the design of swimming robots. He also investigates how thin solid plates can deform to create novel three-dimensional structures.
  • Shina Tan, an assistant professor in the School of Physics. Tan studies the theory of dilute cold matter, which is millions of times thinner than the air and billions of times colder than an average home freezer. His research may have applications to sensitive detection and precision measurements.
  • Christopher Peikert, an assistant professor in the School of Computer Science. Peikert focuses on geometric lattices as a new mathematical foundation for cryptography, the science of developing secret codes and the use of those codes in an encryption system. In principle, quantum computers could break much of the cryptography in wide use today, so there is a strong need for alternative schemes.



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