Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

Computer Scientists Among PopTech’s “Science Fellows”

September 14th, 2011 / in awards / by Erwin Gianchandani

PopTech names its 2011 Science and Public Leadership Fellows.Last month, PopTech — a nonprofit network of innovation experts based in Camden, Maine — announced its Science and Public Leadership Fellows, a small number of high-potential, early- and mid-career scientists working in areas of critical importance to the nation and the planet. The Fellows are chosen for their strong innate communications skills and interest in public leadership — and in the coming year they will receive training and skills development from world-class communications, media training, public engagement, and leadership faculty, including our very own Peter Lee.

The ultimate goal: to develop a corps of visible and trusted scientific leaders who can provide leadership, explore new collaborative approaches, and engage with the public on a variety of issues of critical importance — in an effort to bolster the role of science in the public sphere.

Among this year’s Fellows are two computer scientists (after the jump…):

Adrien Treuille, CMU & Science Fellow 2011Adrien Treuille, an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. Adrien uses computer games, simulation and animation to help understand movement, shapes and structures. He co-created EteRNA and Foldit, computer games where users design and fold real biomolecules and, as a result, help reveal better ways for drugs to target diseases. He has modeled complex phenomena from fluid dynamics to crowd motion to macromolecules. Adrien received an NSF CAREERAward, was included in the MIT Technology Review Top 35 Innovators Under 35, had his work featured in The New York Times, and has published in Nature. His work brings crowdsourcing, games and advanced simulation techniques together to advance key areas of engineering and medicine.


Raul Rabadan, an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University’s Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. Raul is creating tools to extract scientifically and clinically useful information from large sets of data. His team brings together domains including physics, astrophysics, mathematics and computer science to learn how viruses such as H1N1 co-evolve with the people they infect, and what mutations drive cancers. Raul’s research has been published in the New England Journal of MedicineNatureNature Genetics andPLoS Pathogens, and been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine. His computational approach to understanding disease evolution has the potential to significantly improve strategies in medical treatment and public health.

The training program convened last month, and Fellows are beginning

to develop relationships with the faculty, who will provide ongoing guidance and mentoring. Fellows are also provided with significant opportunities to raise their public profile and that of their work through a variety of media, and to participate in a peer-level alumni network.


Fellows participate in the entire program for free, and receive a free ticket to the PopTech conference, along with prominent placement at the event, including interviews and collaborative sessions with leading journalists and members of the network dedicated to helping them raise their profile. The goal of the program is not to turn scientists ‘into’ evangelists, but to help them become better communicators and leaders while continuing their scientific careers.

Congratulations to Adrien and Raul!

For a complete list of this year’s Science and Public Leadership Fellows, click here. And to read more about the program — and watch videos of last year’s Fellows — visit the PopTech website.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

Computer Scientists Among PopTech’s “Science Fellows”

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