CCC Announces 2011 Computing Innovation Fellows: CIFellows Project Continues to Seek to Retain Recent PhDs in Computing Research

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 14, 2011

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) - a standing committee of the Computing Research Association (CRA) - today named 20 exceptional recent Ph.D. graduates in computer science (and allied fields) to its 2011 class of Computing Innovation Fellows (CIFellows; These 20 talented researchers have been competitively awarded postdoctoral positions of up to two years at academic institutions and industrial research laboratories throughout the U.S. Made possible by a $6.5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to CRA - the third grant in as many years - the 2011 CIFellowships are a continuation of the highly successful effort begun in 2009 to forestall a permanent loss of research talent likely to occur as a consequence of the financial crisis and subsequent economic downturn.

The new cohort of CIFellows is comprised of 20 individuals from 18 different Ph.D-granting colleges and universities within the U.S., and, collectively, the CIFellows are assigned to mentors at 17 unique host organizations. They were selected from a pool of 177 applicants, spanning 76 different Ph.D.-granting colleges and universities.

With support from the NSF, CRA provides each organization hosting a CIFellow a one-year subaward, to include a 12-month salary plus fringe benefits to the CIFellow as well as an allowance to be used at the CIFellow's discretion for the purchase of a computer and laboratory equipment, conference travel, relocation expenses, and other discretionary expenses in support of his or her research plan. (Those CIFellows who wish to continue for a second year are provided a new subaward covering that period, contingent upon a positive mid-year evaluation and the availability of funds.) Like the 2009 and 2010 CIFellows that came before them, it is intended that these subawards will enable the 2011 CIFellows to have uniquely independent research experiences that will help them sharpen their skills and enhance their credentials over the next one to two years.

To ensure broad participation in the program and to cultivate bridges between diverse institutions via the CIFellows, no more than two awardees earned their Ph.D.s from the same university, and no more than two awardees were assigned to the same host organization. Diversity of other forms - including research areas and individuals, etc. - were also encouraged. About 30 percent of the 2011 CIFellows are women.

The awarding of a third cohort of CIFellows follows very positive and beneficial experiences for the 2009 and 2010 CIFellows and their mentors. Of the 60 CIFellows who started in the fall of 2009, 39 have taken permanent research positions in academia, industry, and government. In addition, roughly halfway through their two-year CIFellowships, five of the 47 2010 CIFellows have announced plans to depart the program early following offers of permanent research opportunities. In most of these cases, the postdoctoral experiences markedly enhanced the CIFellows' skills, credentials, and stellar resumes. As one hiring officer wrote, "I can attest that [the CIFellow's] postdoctoral experience... enhanced [the CIFellow's] attractiveness to us as a candidate."

While it remains too early to provide an authoritative assessment of the impact of the CIFellows Project in the long term, an independent evaluation by SRI International commissioned in fall 2010 concluded in part, "The results of this evaluation suggest that the design of the program helped to provide the CIFellows with the foundations for productive careers as research leaders and principal investigators... The CIFellows Project appears to have achieved its short-term objectives of providing interim employment to early-career computing researchers, at least some of whom might have left the field without such support."

Like the inaugural class, the 2011 CIFellows were selected through an intensive review process that considered applicants' research backgrounds, proposed research projects, and proposed mentors. A Selection Committee evaluated each application and recommended a slate of finalists to a Steering Committee. The latter - comprising co-principal investigators (PIs) of the three NSF grants supporting the CIFellows Project since 2009 - provided administrative, financial, and technical oversight, and was ultimately responsible for all award decisions. The PI of the 2011 NSF grant, M. Frans Kaashoek (MIT), chaired both committees.

The Selection Committee included:

Philip Bohannon, Yahoo! Research
Henrik Christensen, Georgia Institute of Technology
Prem Devanbu, University of California at Davis
Bill Feiereisen, Intel Corporation
Lisa Fleischer, Dartmouth College
James Fogarty, University of Washington
Stephanie Forrest, University of New Mexico
Lance Fortnow, Northwestern University
Greg Ganger, Carnegie Mellon University
Darren Gergle, Northwestern University
Gregory Hager, Johns Hopkins University
Eric Horvitz, Microsoft Research
Frans Kaashoek, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Chair)
David Kaeli, Northeastern University
Leslie Pack Kaelbling, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jim Kurose, Microsoft Research
John Mitchell, Stanford University
Rob Miller, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Robin Murphy, Texas A&M University
Hanspeter Pfister, Harvard University
Ion Stoica, University of California at Berkeley
Jim Waldo, VMware

The Steering Committee included:

Greg Andrews, University of Arizona
Lance Fortnow, Northwestern University
Erwin Gianchandani, Computing Research Association
Susan Graham, University of California at Berkeley
Gregory Hager, Johns Hopkins University
Anita Jones, University of Virginia
Frans Kaashoek, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ed Lazowska, University of Washington
Ran Libeskind-Hadas, Harvey Mudd College
Bobby Schnabel, Indiana University
Bob Sproull, Oracle Labs (ret.)

The 2011 class of CIFellows and their mentors includes:

CIFellow Ph.D.-granting university Research area Mentor Host organization
Amin Ansari University of Michigan Hardware/architecture Josep Torrellas University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ferhat Ay University of Florida Scientific/medical informatics William Noble University of Washington
Selina Chu University of Southern California AI/machine learning/robotics/vision Thomas Dietterich Oregon State University
Shay Cohen Carnegie Mellon University AI/machine learning/robotics/vision Michael Collins Columbia University
Travis Deyle Georgia Institute of Technology AI/machine learning/robotics/vision Matt Reynolds Duke University
David Feil-Seifer University of Southern California AI/machine learning/robotics/vision Brian Scassellati Yale University
Lakshmi Ganesh Cornell University Networks/operating systems Michael Dahlin University of Texas at Austin
Jonathan Huang Carnegie Mellon University AI/machine learning/robotics/vision Leonidas Guibas Stanford University
Mohit Tiwari University of California at Santa Barbara Hardware/architecture Krste Asanovic' University of California at Berkeley
Hemanta Maji University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Information systems/information science Amit Sahai University of California at Los Angeles
David Mimno Univesrity of Massachusetts at Amherst AI/machine learning/robotics/vision David Blei Princeton University
Ankur Moitra Massachusetts Institute of Technology Theory/algorithms Avi Widgerson Institute for Advanced Study
Rohan Murty Harvard University Networks/operating systems Hari Balakrishnan Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Joshua Reich Columbia University Networks/operating systems Jennifer Rexford Princeton University
Suchi Saria Stanford University Scientific/medical informatics Kenneth Mandl Children's Hospital Boston
Erin Solovey Tufts University HCI/CSCW Mary Cummings Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ian Stevenson Northwestern University Other -- computational neuroscience Bruno Olshausen University of California at Berkeley
Kalliopi (Kelly) Tsota Purdue University Software engineering Jason Cong University of California at Los Angeles
Lirong Xia Duke University AI/machine learning/robotics/vision David Parkes Harvard University
Hong-Sheng Zhou University of Connecticut Information systems/information science Jonathan Katz University of Maryland

And the 2010 CIFellows who are continuing for a second year include:

CIFellow Ph.D.-granting university Research area Mentor Host organization
Jae-wook Ahn University of Pittsburgh Information systems/information science Ben Shneiderman University of Maryland at College Park
Alvin AuYoung University of California-San Diego Networks/operating systems Partha Ranganathan HP Labs
Aruna Balasubramanian University of Massachusetts at Amherst Mobile/ubiquitous/embedded computing David Wetherall University of Washington
Robert Bocchino University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Programming languages/compilers Jonathan Aldrich Carnegie Mellon University
Lillian Chang* Carnegie Mellon University AI/machine learning/robotics/vision Joshua Smith Intel Corporation
Yanhua Chen Wayne State University Scientific/medical informatics Peter Song University of Michigan
Marc Chiarini Tufts University Networks/operating systems Margo Seltzer Harvard University
David Choffnes Northwestern University Networks/operating systems Tom Anderson University of Washington
Tamara Clegg Georgia Institute of Technology CS education/educational technology Allison Druin University of Maryland at College Park
Jyotirmoy Deshmukh University of Texas at Austin Software engineering Rajeev Alur University of Pennsylvania
Xiaoning Ding Ohio State University Networks/operating systems Phillip Gibbons Intel Corporation
David Doty Iowa State University Theory/algorithms Erik Winfree California Institute of Technology
Samuel Gordon University of Maryland at College Park CS education/educational technology Tal Malkin Columbia University
Elena Grigorescu Massachusetts Institute of Technology Theory/algorithms Chris Peikert Georgia Institute of Technology
Haryadi Gunawi University of Wisconsin at Madison Networks/operating systems Joseph Hellerstein University of California at Berkeley
David Harmon Columbia University Graphics/visualization Denis Zorin New York University
Timothy Havens University of Missouri at Columbia Databases/information retrieval/data mining Anil Jain Michigan State University
Michael Hay University of Massachusetts at Amherst Databases/information retrieval/data mining Johannes Gehrke Cornell University
Houman Homayoun University of California at Irvine Hardware/architecture Dean Tullsen University of California at San Diego
Shaili Jain Harvard University Social computing/social informatics Joan Feigenbaum Yale University
Saket Joshi Tufts University AI/machine learning/robotics/vision Prasad Tadepalli Oregon State University
Thomas Kiehl Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Other -- systems biology, evolutionary computing Scott Tenenbaum University of Albany
Samantha Kleinberg New York University Scientific/medical informatics George Hripcsak Columbia University
J. Zico Kolter Stanford University AI/machine learning/robotics/vision Russ Tedrake Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lukas Kroc Cornell University AI/machine learning/robotics/vision Allon Percus Claremont Graduate University
Vijay Kumar Ohio State University Numerical computing/HPC/data-intensive scalable computing Jay Wylie HP Labs
Homin Lee Columbia University Theory/algorithms Adam Klivans University of Texas at Austin
Yuliya Lierler University of Texas at Austin AI/machine learning/robotics/vision Miroslaw Truszczynski University of Kentucky
Xiaojuan Ma Princeton University HCI/CSCW Jodi Forlizzi Carnegie Mellon University
Amon Millner Massachusetts Institute of Technology CS education/educational technology Lynn Stein Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Arifa Nisar Northwestern University Numerical computing/HPC/data-intensive scalable computing Ethan Miller University of California at Santa Cruz
Amit Pande Iowa State University Mobile/ubiquitous/embedded computing Prasant Mohapatra University of California at Davis
Sharoda Paul* Pennsylvania State University HCI/CSCW Peter Pirolli Palo Alto Research Center
Brian Price Brigham Young University AI/machine learning/robotics/vision Scott Cohen Adobe Systems, Inc.
Dustin Reishus University of Southern California Other -- self-assembly/self-organization Nikolaus Correll University of Colorado at Boulder
Ricky Sethi University of California at Riverside AI/machine learning/robotics/vision Yolanda Gil University of Southern California
Saurabh Srivastava University of Maryland at College Park Programming languages/compilers Rastislav Bodik University of California at Berkeley
Erin Walker Carnegie Mellon University CS education/educational technology Winslow Burleson Arizona State University
Susan Wyche Georgia Institute of Technology Hardware/architecture Steve Harrison Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Yinglong Xia University of Southern California Numerical computing/HPC/data-intensive scalable computing Anshul Gupta IBM Research
Yang Xiang Kent State University Scientific/medical informatics Kun Huang Ohio State University
Cem Yuksel Texas A&M University Graphics/visualization Doug James Cornell University
Caroline Ziemkiewicz University of North Carolina at Charlotte Graphics/visualization David Laidlaw Brown University

*Continuing for a partial second year after accepting a permanent research position.

To learn more about CIFellows from previous years: Visit and view their curriculum vita and research abstracts.

About the CCC: The CCC ( was established in fall 2006 under a cooperative agreement between the CRA and the NSF. A standing committee of the CRA, the CCC seeks to mobilize the computing research community to debate long-range challenges and build consensus around specific research visions. The CCC specifically pursues the next big computing ideas that will define the future of the field, attract the very best talent, and catalyze research investment and public support in the long term.

About the CRA: The CRA ( was established nearly 40 years ago and has members at more than 250 research entities in academia, industry, and government. Its mission is to strengthen research and advance education in computing fields, expand opportunities for women and minorities, and improve public and policymaker understanding of the importance of computing and computing research in society.

For more information: Contact Dr. Ann W. Drobnis, Director of the Computing Community Consortium: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..