The Michigan Engineer News Center

Two Michigan Engineers selected for Sloan research fellowships

The foundation honors researchers it deems “rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders,” according to a statement. The fellows, who were nominated by their peers and chosen by a panel of senior scholars, each receives $50,000 to further their research.| Short Read
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IMAGE:  J Alex Halderman is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Two Michigan Engineering professors are among the 126 early-career professors from the United States and Canada selected as 2015 Alfred P. Sloan research fellows.

The new fellows are Prabal Dutta and J. Alex Halderman, both Morris Wellman Faculty Development Assistant Professors of Computer Science and Engineering as well as assistant professors of electrical engineering and computer science.

The foundation honors researchers it deems “rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders,” according to a statement. The fellows, who were nominated by their peers and chosen by a panel of senior scholars, each receives $50,000 to further their research.

Dutta designs hardware and software for energy-scavenging sensors. “My research seeks to give individuals, communities, and countries greater visibility into the physical processes that matter to them—ranging from deeply personal measurements like sensing intraocular pressure or capturing face-to- face human interactions to nearly planetary-scale ones like monitoring power grid dynamics or mapping post- catastrophe nuclear radiation fields,” Dutta explained.

Halderman studies computer and network security. “The diverse practical topics that interest me include software security, network security, data privacy, anonymous communication, mass surveillance, electronic voting, censorship resistance, computer forensics, and cybercrime,” Halderman explained.

The researchers among the six from U-M who received the honor.

“The beginning of a one’s career is a crucial time in the life of a scientist. Building a lab, attracting funding in an increasingly competitive environment, and securing tenure all depend on doing innovative, original high-quality work and having that work recognized,” said Paul L. Joskow, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit, grant-making institution based in New York, established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-president and chief executive officer of General Motors Corp.

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The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read