Logo: University of Southern California

Computer Scientist Wins Sloan Fellowship

High honor goes to only young 118 scientists nationally each year: carries $100,000 no-strings research support

March 02, 2009 —

David Kempe, who holds the Robert G. and Mary G. Lane Early Career Chair, was one of three USC faculty members to win one of the most competive and highly prized awards in science.

Kempe: "exceptional research contributions in the field of computer science."
Sloan fellowships, awarded since 1955, include grants of $50,000 over a two-year period. Once chosen, Sloan Research Fellows are free to pursue whatever lines of inquiry are of most interest to them.

For Kempe, who studies social networks and their interactions, including ways to algorithmically address ways of minimizing or maximizing the spread of network epidemics, the fellowship was the latest of several recent awards.

Last year, he was part of an elite national group of junior faculty members who received funding from the Office of Naval Research’s Young Investigator Program. In 2007, he won his Early Career Chair. A year before that, he was the recipient of a National Science Foundation Early Career Award.

And, 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 contests.

Kempe came to USC in 2004 after receiving his Ph.D. from Cornell University and working as a post-doc fellow at the University of Washington.

USC Viterbi dean Yannis C. Yortsos and Ellis Horowitz, interim chair of computer science, said they were delighted to learn of Kempe’s award.

“David has already distinguished himself with exceptional research contributions in the field of computer science. This fellowship will support his continued success in areas of critical concern to network computing, including social networking, and his fine work to coach computer science students competing in national programming contests,” Yortsos said.

Frank Alber and Tansu Celikel of USC College were the two other USC Sloan Fellows.

The complete list of Sloan Research Fellows for 2009 is at http://www.sloan.org/fellowships/page/19