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.

Computing Researchers Among Presidential Early-Career Awardees

July 23rd, 2012 / in awards / by Erwin Gianchandani

(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.

This afternoon, the White House named 96 researchers — including a 2009 Computing Innovation Fellow (CIFellow) — as recipients of the 2012 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), “the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government 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, or community outreach.” Among this year’s PECASE recipients, several are in computing and related fields (following the link):

  • David Blei, Princeton University, for creating methods for computers to analyze huge collections of documents to find themes hidden within them.
  • Vincent Conitzer, Duke University, for groundbreaking work on computational aspects of game theory, social choice and mechanism design.
  • Michael Freedman, Princeton University, for designing, building and prototyping cloud computer storage.
  • Curtis Huttenhower, Harvard University, for providing a framework for data mining genome databases.
  • Suzanne Shontz, Pennsylvania State University, for research in computational and data-enabled science and engineering.
  • Luis von Ahn, Carnegie Mellon University, for work in computer science, including the development of CAPTCHA, used industry-wide to verify authenticity in transactions conducted online.
  • Brent Waters, University of Texas at Austin, for research in cryptography and computer security.
  • Jennifer Wortman Vaughan, University of California at Los Angeles, for groundbreaking research in machine learning and social network theory.
In making the announcement, President Obama said:

“Discoveries in science and technology not only strengthen our economy, they inspire us as a people. The impressive accomplishments of today’s awardees so early in their careers promise even greater advances in the years ahead.”

For a complete list of awardees, see the official press release. Congratulations to all of the 2012 PECASE recipients!


Updated Monday, July 23rd at 11:20pm MDT: The original version of this post inadvertently excluded David Blei and Vincent Conitzer from the list of 2012 PECASE winners from our field. My sincere apologies to both David and Vincent for this oversight — and many thanks to those who noticed.

Please join me in congratulating David and Vincent, along with all the other recipients of this year’s PECASE award, for this incredible honor!

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

Computing Researchers Among Presidential Early-Career Awardees

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