Three Pitt 'teacher-scholars' honored by NSF with CAREER awards

Awards will be used to make information more secure, improve treatment for liver disease, and solve subatomic mysteries

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded three University of Pittsburgh professors the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, its most prestigious honor for junior faculty members. The award supports the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization. The Pitt scientists are:

James B.D. Joshi

Joshi is an assistant professor of information science and telecommunications as well as cofounder and coordinator of the Laboratory of Education and Research on Security Assured Information Systems in Pitt's School of Information Sciences.

Joshi's project, titled "A Trust-Based Access Control Management Framework for Secure Information Sharing and Multimedia Workflows in Heterogeneous Environments," will address the security, privacy, and digital rights issues related to emerging multidomain application environments. Such environments have the potential to efficiently automate workflow processes and to facilitate unprecedented levels of information sharing and resource utilization. Joshi will develop a framework to allow dynamic systems to interact with each other securely and to ensure the privacy of data. The results of this research will help make sure that information on complex systems, such as the Department of Defense's global information grid, is well protected. The results also will be incorporated into Pitt's security curriculum. Pitt has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Joshi earned the Ph.D. degree in computer engineering and the M.S. degree in computer science at Purdue University in 2003 and 1998, respectively, and the Bachelor of Engineering degree in computer science and engineering at Motilal Nehru Regional Engineering College in India in1993. A member of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, he serves on the editorial review boards for the journals International Journal for Network Security and the International Journal for E-Business Research.

Adam Leibovich

Leibovich is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Pitt. In his project, titled "Theoretical Applications of Effective Field Theories for Current and Future Experiments," Leibovich will examine theoretical issues in particle physics--how nature behaves at the subatomic scale--using effective field theories, tools that systematically include the largest physics effects in a given problem. He will address issues ranging from subatomic particles, called heavy quarks, to physics experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest particle accelerator and collider, located at the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva.

In addition, Leibovich will implement an education and outreach program for the physics and education students at Pitt as well as K-12 teachers in the surrounding area. "Active learning" techniques will be incorporated into the physics curriculum at the University of Pittsburgh, demonstrated in the elementary science education course, and extended to K-12 teachers and their students. A special classroom will be created, designed to encourage active learning, by combining the traditional lecture and laboratory into one cohesive unit. The proposed pilot class for the first and second semester undergraduate physics course will be highly collaborative, hands-on, computer-rich, and interactive. Lectures also will be given jointly with Pitt's School of Education Elementary Science Methods class, and a weeklong summer institute for teaching physics to K-12 teachers will be conducted with the Pittsburgh Public School District.

Leibovich received the Ph.D. degree in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1997 and the B.A. degree in physics from Cornell University in 1992. Prior to joining Pitt, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Carnegie Mellon University and Fermilab.

Andrew Schaefer

Schaefer is an assistant professor and Wellington C. Carl Faculty Fellow in the Department of Industrial Engineering in Pitt's School of Engineering, and founder and director of the department's Computational Optimization Laboratory. He holds secondary appointments in the school's Department of Bioengineering and the Pitt School of Medicine.

In his project, titled "Next-Generation Research and Education in Therapeutic Optimization," Schaefer will construct quantitative models of the progression of end-stage liver disease, one of the leading killers in the United States. He will then apply the technique of optimization to construct a particular set of therapies. The broader impacts of the research will be felt directly by thousands of end-stage liver disease patients, and indirectly by millions more through significant improvements in the field of therapeutic optimization.

Schaefer received the Ph.D. degree in industrial and systems engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2000, and the M.S. and B.A. degrees in computational and applied mathematics from Rice University in 1994. He is a member of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences, the Institute of Industrial Engineers, the Society for Medical Decision Making, and the Mathematical Programming Society. Schaefer also serves as codirector of the Department of Industrial Engineering's MORPHS (Mathematics and Operations Research in Pittsburgh High Schools) Program, which exposes Pittsburgh-area high school teachers to operations research techniques that are then introduced into high school mathematics and science curricula.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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