Two College of Computing Alums Recently Selected as Sloan Research Fellows

March 31, 2004

The College of Computing at Georgia Tech is pleased to announce that two of their Ph.D. alums have been selected as Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows. Dr. Samrat Bhattacharjee, assistant professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland and Dr. James O’Brien, assistant professor of Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley are among those selected to receive honors for their "exceptional promise to contribute to the advancement of knowledge."

The Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship is an extraordinarily competitive award, involving nominations for most of the very best scientists from around the country. Sloan Research Fellows, once chosen, are free to pursue whatever lines of inquiry are of the most compelling interest to them. The Fellowship carries with it a grant of $40,000, to be used over a two-year period in support of research.

Samrat (Bobby) Bhattacharjee received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the College of Computing at Georgia Tech in 1999. His thesis was part of the CANES active networking project. At Tech, he also worked on the GT-ITM and SOREN projects. Bhattacharjee is also an assistant professor in the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and an affiliate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland. He is a NSF CAREER Award recipient. His research interests include wide-area networking, network protocol design, operating systems and distributed systems and algorithms. His research group has designed a set of protocols and mechanisms that address different aspects of implementing cooperative applications. The focus is on incentive-based cooperation policies, on mechanisms to scalably check and enforce partnerships and on protocols to ensure privacy and integrity.

James O'Brien earned his doctorate in Computer Science from the Georgia Tech’s College of Computing in August of 2000 before going to UC Berkeley. His interests are in most areas of Computer Graphics and Animation, but his research focuses primarily on the physically based simulation of complex deformable and fluid systems. The methods developed by his research group can be used for generating special effects in movies, realistic environment in video games and for training simulations. In addition to serving on the committees for other conference and journals, O'Brien has twice served on the ACM SIGGRAPH Papers Committee. He has published seven journal papers and twenty conference papers, including ten in the ACM SIGGRAPH conference. “I think one of the reasons I've been successful is that I had the opportunity to work closely with outstanding faculty at Georgia Tech, and learn from each one of them," says O'Brien. "The real secret to success is to be excited about your work and enjoy it. Other things like integrity and self-honesty are important too."

The Sloan Research Fellowships were established in 1955 to provide support and recognition to young scientists. Twenty-six Sloan Fellows have won Nobel Prizes later in their careers, and hundreds have received other honors. Currently a total of 116 fellowships are awarded annually in seven fields: chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience and physics. Since the beginning of the program, the Foundation has spent nearly $99 million for support of over 3,800 young researchers.