March 18, 2008 — David Kempe is part of an elite national group of junior faculty members who will receive up to $300,000 to fund their research under the Office of Naval Research's Young Investigator Program.
The YIP awards, for "up to $100,000 per year for three years...are made based on research proposals and supporting materials," according to the ONR website.
Competition for the grants is intense: the 27 winners were chosen from 208 proposals. "ONR Young Investigators are
considered among the best and brightest young academic researchers in the country. The awards recognize research achievements, potential for continued outstanding research efforts, and strong support and commitment from their respective universities and research institutions," says the ONR.
Kempe's award is for research on "Game-theoretic Views of Social Networks and their Interactions," one of eight grants made in the general area of Command, Control Communication, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance area, one of the five areas in which awards were given.
Kempe, who joined the Viterbi School in 2004, last year won the Robert G. and Mary G. Lane Early Career Chair in recognition of "exceptional research contributions."
Kempe was also recipient of a 2006 National Science Foundation Early Career Award for his work to model and algorithmically address ways of minimizing or maximizing the spread of network epidemics, such as computer viruses.
He is a recipient of the Viterbi School Junior Research Award. Along with computer science colleague Sven Koenig, he organized the USC Programming Contest, an ongoing effort to identify and support student programming talent for competition in collegiate Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) contests.
Kempe received his Ph.D. in 2003 from Cornell University and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington before joining USC.