Buff Briefs | 5 faculty land NSF awards

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5 faculty land NSF awards
Five University of Colorado at Boulder faculty have been selected to receive National Science Foundation CAREER Awards.

The NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development Program, or CAREER, is one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for young faculty. The 2010 awards, which come with a five-year grant ranging from $400,000 to $530,000, help faculty establish integrated research and educational activities while helping address areas of important need.

Aaron Bradley, Robert McLeod and Li Shang, in the department of electrical, computer, and energy engineering, were selected this year to receive CAREER Awards, along with Sriram Sankaranarayanan of computer science and Rebecca Flowers of geological sciences.
Bradley’s award is aimed at developing a new model-checking technique for analyzing the properties of computational systems, to achieve increased performance on multi-core and networked computers.

Flowers’ research will use recent advances in thermochronological tools to investigate what is causing the uplift and erosion of the southern African Plateau, a large and elevated region of the continent’s interior.

McLeod’s research is focused on developing new fabrication techniques for next-generation electronic chips by breaking the existing limits on minimum feature size in optical lithography.
Sankaranarayanan is investigating automatic verification techniques for finding defects or bugs in embedded computer systems that monitor and control physical processes that are increasingly common in automobiles, avionics, medical devices and power-distribution systems.

Shang is investigating new communication technologies and system designs for emerging “many-core” computer systems, which has been the key performance bottleneck in massive-parallel computer systems.  

Sieber named Teaching Scholar
Diane Sieber, an associate professor in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been named a President’s Teaching Scholar in recognition of her success in teaching the humanities through technology.

As a President’s Teaching Scholar, Sieber joins a select group of faculty members around the entire CU system who have been honored for their dedication to excellence in teaching, creative work, scholarship and research. Seventy-four professors have received the recognition since 1989. Those selected serve as teaching and research ambassadors on their respective campuses, and develop individual, departmental and campuswide projects to assess classroom learning.

Sieber earned graduate degrees in Spanish literature at Princeton, and later incorporated a part-time interest in computer programming, Web design and social media into how she teaches her students. She joined the CU-Boulder faculty in 1993 as an assistant professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

From July of 2004 to July of 2007, she served as co-director of the ATLAS Research Institute, and has served as director of the Herbst Program of Humanities in Engineering since July of 2007.

Job searches start early, take longer
With a struggling economy still gripping the nation, college students graduating this spring are faced with long, competitive job searches, according to Lisa Severy, director of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Career Services office.

However, new graduates often have a leg up when the job market recovers, so patience is a must, she said.

“It is generally taking longer for students to find a job in this economy, so our advice is to start looking earlier, get as much help as possible and expand your search,” Severy said.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers recently reported that employers they surveyed expected to hire about 7 percent fewer graduates in 2009-10 than they did in 2008-09. Slightly fewer recruiters visited campus this spring compared to last year, according to Severy.
One way for students to help offset the tough job market is to not limit their job search to only those positions that coincide with their major, according to Severy.

The best advice she can give students who are interviewing for their first major job is to practice interviewing. She also recommends cleaning up online profiles on sites such as Facebook, and building up online profiles by adding professional goals and other accomplishments.

“We tell students to replace the negative information someone could find through a Google search with more professional posts on sites like LinkedIn,” she said. “All it takes is one bad spring break photo to bounce you from an interview opportunity.”

For more information about the CU-Boulder Career Services office, which will be hosting several events this month for job-hunters, visit http://careerservices.colorado.edu.

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