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Eighteen Faculty at Purdue University Recognized for Early Career Success – Purdue University

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August 31, 2022
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Eighteen Purdue University assistant and associate professors received National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards in fiscal year 2022 to fund research from sensorized farms to quantum networks at the world-renowned, public research university.
CAREER awards recognize faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. The five-year grants are NSF’s most prestigious award in support of early career faculty.
“These awards reflect the caliber and industry of our younger faculty and the steady growth of our research portfolio as a result of consistent, targeted investments,” said Theresa Mayer, executive vice president for research and partnerships. “We congratulate our recent NSF CAREER award winners, and we are proud to have them as colleagues.”
Faculty receiving a CAREER award ranging from $330,000 to $730,000 in fiscal year 2022 are:
Xiaoping Bao, assistant professor of chemical engineering, for Engineering ex vivo Human Cardiogenesis with Optogenetics. Bao (College of Engineering) will use the award to seek control over the formation of organized cardiac organoids from hiPSCs using optogenetics, a biological technique to control the activity of cells or tissues with light, and then to use these to study cardiac maturation and heart diseases.
Christopher Greg Brinton, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, for From Federated to Fog Learning: Expanding the Frontier of Model Training in Heterogeneous Networks. Brinton (College of Engineering) will use the award to establish a new paradigm that will enable efficient model learning at scale by integrating machine learning with the orchestration of “fog” networking resources from the edge to cloud.
Berkay Celik, assistant professor in computer science, for Compositional IoT Safety and Security in Physical Spaces. Celik (College of Science) will use the award to integrate research activities aimed at designing and developing algorithms and tools that formally produce the composite behavior of an Internet of Things system and a rigorous foundation for reasoning about an IoT environment’s global safety and security. The results of this project will ultimately enhance the current verification and validation practices of IoT systems and build trust in national infrastructure and protect citizens.
Somali Chaterji, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, for Robust and Adaptive Streaming Analytics for Sensorized Farms: Internet-of-Small-Things to the Rescue. Chaterji (colleges of Agriculture and Engineering) will use the award to bring together Internet of Small Things with machine learning, creating a compute fabric that is adaptive to cyber and physical conditions and provides prompt actuation, resilient to noisy sensor nodes and communication channels.
Daniel T. Dawson, assistant professor of atmospheric science, for Variability of Severe Convective Storm Mode and Hazards as a Function of Environment and Pre-convective Updraft Forcing. Dawson (College of Science) will use the award to compare sophisticated computer simulations of severe storms with the behavior of real-world storms, investigating how severe storm “modes” depend on the details of early storm development across a range of different environments.
Letian Dou, assistant professor of chemical engineering, for Understanding and Quantifying Ion Migration and Diffusion in Two-Dimensional Halide Perovskite Heterostructures. Gao (College of Engineering) will use the award to understand stability problems in these promising semiconducting materials, developing novel structures from two-dimensional perovskites and quantifying how ions diffuse and migrate under heat, light and electrical bias.
James M. Gibert, associate professor of mechanical engineering, for Exploiting Time Dependent Behavior and Structure in Developing Programmable Materials. Gibert (College of Engineering) will use the award to introduce new mechanisms to program the stiffness and time-dependent mechanical and inertial behavior of materials, supporting the development of a new generation of programmable materials that can control and monitor vibrations and shock events in real time.
Harsha Honnappa, assistant professor of industrial engineering, for Methods for Data-Driven Service Engineering. Honnappa (College of Engineering) will use the award to study the fundamentals of data-driven engineering of service systems, which will ultimately increase operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness, a task with significant socioeconomic implications for the United States. With a fundamental understanding of large operational data sets and emerging machine learning technologies, his work will help to identify an appropriate mathematical model for design and operation of such systems.
Mahdi Hosseini, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, for Active Nonlinear Photonics with Applications in Quantum Networks. Hosseini (College of Engineering) will use the award to address outstanding challenges to large-scale quantum networks by investigating nonlinear interaction of electromagnetic fields with engineered materials for quantum network applications.
Ruichao Ma, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, for Synthetic Quantum Materials in Superconducting Circuits. Ma (College of Science) will use the award to develop efficient protocols for creating and controlling synthetic quantum materials and their properties and to investigate the microscopic dynamics of quantum materials in open driven-dissipative settings. The findings will provide insights on material discovery and design for applications in quantum information science and engineering.
Aaron B. Morris, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, for Using Stochastic Techniques to Understand and Predict the Flow of Non-spherical Particles. Morris (College of Engineering) will use the award to develop a physics-based stochastic model that accounts for irregular particle shapes to predict particle dynamics more accurately in large-scale systems, helping to extend granular flow theory for idealized spherical particles to more realistic granular media and providing new solutions to technical challenges that occur in particle technology.
Paul Parsons, assistant professor of computer graphics technology, for Supporting Data Visualization Design Practice. Parsons (Purdue Polytechnic Institute) will use the award to advance the practice of data visualization design and strengthen relationships between the research and practitioner communities.
Elsje Pienaar, assistant professor of biomedical engineering (College of Engineering), for Complexity From Simplicity: Multi-scale Computational Deciphering of the Viral Life Cycle. The award, granted as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will use a combination of experimental data and computer simulations to understand and predict the complex interactions that drive Ebola virus infection. Such an understanding will allow the identification of any weak points in this protein network that can be targeted with new drugs.
Alex Psomas, assistant professor of computer science, for Incentives, Fairness, and Efficiency without Monetary Transfers. Psomas (College of Science) will use the award to address theoretical questions in aspects of algorithm design for internet transactions that allocate scarce resources – such as food donations, vaccines, kidneys for transplant – where the input must be solicited from strategic agents with their own private preferences over the algorithm’s output.
Pedro Fonseca, assistant professor of computer science, for Towards Reliable Operating Systems through Scalable Control- and Data-Flow Analysis. Fonseca (College of Science) will use the award to develop testing techniques that are especially suited to find software bugs in modern operating system kernels, an essential – but particularly large and complex – software component of servers, desktops, mobile devices and embedded devices.
Neera Jain, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, for Enabling Human-Aware and Responsive Automation through Cognitive State Modeling and Estimation. Jain (College of Engineering) will use the award for research that enables autonomous systems such as machines, robots and vehicles to respond safely and collaboratively to human interactions, thereby promoting the progress of science and advancing the national prosperity and welfare. Her work will build a new modeling framework that accounts for human cognitive constructs established within the social sciences, such as trust, workload, perceived risk and self-confidence, while being amenable to rigorous mathematical analysis.
Jing Tian, assistant professor in computer science, for A Model-Guided and Holistic Approach for Peripheral Security. Tian (College of Science) will use the award to systematically improve the security of peripheral devices (such as USB keyboards, drives, Bluetooth speakers and headsets) by discovering and reducing vulnerabilities that could enable peripheral attacks ahead of time, detecting malicious tampering within peripheral devices once connected, and responding to peripheral attacks.
David Yu, assistant professor of civil engineering and political science, for Evolution of Collective Disaster Memory: A Dynamic Behavioral and Systems Analysis toward Community Resilience. Yu (colleges of Engineering and Liberal Arts) will use the award to study collective disaster memory, a cultural trait whereby information on disastrous events is widely shared among contemporaries or passed down to subsequent generations through conversations, historical texts or built environment features. His work will test a hypothesis related to explaining variation in the durability of collective disaster memory in the context of flood hazards, flood memory and the built environment for flood protection.
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Writer: Mary Martialay
Source: Ken Sandel, Sponsored Program Services, sandel@purdue.edu 
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