Computing Researchers Among Presidential Early Career Awardees; Richard Tapia Receives Medal of Science

September 27th, 2011 by Erwin Gianchandani Post a comment »

(This post has been updated; please scroll down for the latest.)

President Barack Obama joins prior-year recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for a group photo in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 13, 2010 (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson). [This photograph is provided by THE WHITE HOUSE as a courtesy and may be printed by the subject(s) in the photograph for personal use only. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not otherwise be reproduced, disseminated or broadcast, without the written permission of the White House Photo Office. This photograph may not be used in any commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.Yesterday, the White House named 94 researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), “the highest honor the U.S. government bestows on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.” Established in 1996 and coordinated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the awards honor individuals “for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, and community outreach.”

Among this year’s PECASE recipients, 18 are in computing and allied fields:

In making the announcement, President Obama said:

“It is inspiring to see the innovative work being done by these scientists and engineers as they ramp up their careers — careers that I know will be not only personally rewarding but also invaluable to the Nation. That so many of them are also devoting time to mentoring and other forms of community service speaks volumes about their potential for leadership, not only as scientists but as model citizens.”

The PECASE recipients will be honored at the White House on Oct. 14.

For a complete list of awardees, see the official press release.

Congratulations to all of the 2011 PECASE recipients!

Updated at 2pm EDT: And while we’re on the subject of Presidential awards, earlier today the White House named 7 researchers as recipients of the National Medal of Science and five inventors as recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation — “the highest honors bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists, engineers, and inventors.”

Among them, Richard Tapia, University Professor and Maxfield-Oshman Professor in Engineering within the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University. Tapia was recognized “for his pioneering and fundamental contributions in optimization theory and numerical analysis and for his dedication and sustained efforts in fostering diversity and excellence in mathematics and science education.”

Tapia has authored or co-authored two books and over 80 research papers, serves on several national advisory boards, and received numerous honors for his contributions and service to the community throughout his career. In particular, his work on improving the representation of underrepresented groups in computer science is celebrated with the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing, a national conference co-sponsored by the ACM and IEEE Computer Society.

Congratulations to him — and the rest of this year’s recipients of these high honors.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)