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Three Viterbi Faculty Honored: CAREER, Innovation, Fellowship Awards

Jernej Barbic and Malancha Gupta win NSF grants, Andrea Hodge selected for a Humboldt Research Fellowship
Gloria Hayes
March 21, 2011 —

National Science Foundation Career Program
Recipient: Jernej Barbic
The latest Viterbi faculty member to join the distinguished roster of National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program participants is Jernej Barbic, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science. Barbic will use his funding, nearly a half-million dollars over five years, to continue developing “mathematically-principled” models for the faster simulation and control of large, dynamic systems. Speedier modeling and control are aimed at enabling more immersive medical training, more entertaining computer games, and more reliable (and yes, faster) computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. In general, “this work applies to any system governed by differential equations, with broader applications in robotics, aeronautics, and defense systems. In addition to developing new publicly available coursework material, educational activities including releasing a large C++ computer graphics/animation codebase to the world under an open source license, the funding also covers visits to high schools in underserved areas of Los Angeles to expose students to the benefits of careers in science and engineering,” said Barbic.
National Science Foundation Innovation Award
Recipient: Malancha Gupta
Malancha Gupta, an assistant professor in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, has been awarded a three-year, $300K National Science Foundation Innovation award for the study: "Patterning Vapor Deposited Polymers onto Porous Microfluidic Devices Using Transition Metal Salts." funding her efforts to develop portable porous diagnostic devices that could be used to detect disease and contamination in remote locations. The funding will also enable Gupta and her team to engage underrepresented middle and high school students through the USC Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement program (MESA). Gupta received her doctoral degree in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007. She joined the Viterbi Faculty in the fall of 2009, following a postdoctoral fellowship in chemistry at Harvard. She has co-authored 17 publications and holds three patents.

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Scholarship
Recipient: Andrea Hodge
Andrea Hodge, holder of the Philip and Cayley MacDonald Early Career Chair and an assistant professor in the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department, was awarded a three-year Humboldt Research Fellowship. Hodge's research will be carried out at the Institute of Nanotechology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany. “The goal of the research project will be to develop and characterize new materials that have engineered nanoscale features that can then be used for a variety of applications ranging from micro-electronics to engines,” explained Hodge. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awards such fellowships “solely on the basis of academic record.” Selection criteria include quality and number of academic publications in internationally-reviewed journals and books; expert statements from scholars around the globe on the candidate’s profile and potential; and the academic quality and feasibility of the research proposal submitted by the candidate.