Winners of Okawa grants are from left to right, Maja Mataric, Ramesh Govindan and Aristides Requicha.
The Okawa Foundation, established in 1986 by the late Isao Okawa, annually gives $10,000 research grants to ten California information sciences researchers.
For 2004, prizes will be formally presented to Ramesh Govindan, Maja Mataric', and Aristides Requicha at the awards ceremony in San Francisco October 6.
Govindan is a specialist in embedded networks and director of the Embedded Network Laboratory. Mataric' is an expert in adaptive and imitation robotics who is the founding director of the USC Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems (CRES) and Requicha, a specialist in nanorobotics, is associate director of CRES.
"This is the first time ever that the Computer Science department has received three Okawa grants in one year," said department chair Gerard Medioni proudly.
But the USC Viterbi School did receive three Okawa grants in 2003. Two then went to Computer Science: to agent system expert Milind Tambe, and supercomputing specialist Aiichiro Nakano, while a third went to EE/S chip specialist Melvin A. Breuer.
"Considering that our faculty go head-to-head against Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA and Caltech in the competition for these prizes," said Medioni, "I think our record speaks for itself."