Sloan fellowships awarded to five faculty ‘rising stars’

Five young UC Berkeley faculty members have been awarded 2017 Sloan Research Fellowships, coveted grants for scientists and scholars at the beginning of their academic careers.

The fellowships are among 126 announced this week by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The fellowships honor early-career scholars from the United States and Canada whose achievements mark them as the next generation of scientific leaders, according to the foundation. Winners receive a $60,000 fellowship to be used as they wish to further their research.

The UC Berkeley recipients are Ren Ng, computer science; Pierre Simon, mathematics; Reed Walker, economics; Daniel Weisz, physics; and Michael Yartsev, neuroscience.

Ng, an assistant professor in electrical engineering and computer sciences, is developing advanced imaging technologies, focusing on light-field computation and photography. Ng is the founder of Lytro Inc., which commercialized his Ph.D. research and brought consumer light-field cameras to market.

Simon, an assistant professor of mathematics, works in model theory, a branch of mathematical logic that studies combinatorial properties of infinite structures.

reed walkerWalker, an assistant professor at the Haas School of Business, is an energy and environmental economist who studies the social costs of environmental externalities and how regulations to limit these externalities contribute to society.

Daniel WeiszWeisz, an assistant professor of astronomy, studies connections between dark matter, the faintest known galaxies, and the cosmic dawn of our universe.

Yartsev, an assistant professor of neurobiology and engineering, seeks to understand the neural basis of complex spatial and acoustic behaviors in mammals by studying echolocation in bats.

“The Sloan Research Fellows are the rising stars of the academic community,” said Paul Joskow, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Through their achievements and ambition, these young scholars are transforming their fields and opening up entirely new research horizons. We are proud to support them at this crucial stage of their careers.”

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant-making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934, the foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance.

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