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Five Receive IIT College of Science Excellence Awards

IIT College of Science held its annual holiday party on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 in The Bog, and Dean Russell Betts announced five winners of the annual awards for excellence. They are:

  • Excellence in Teaching: Tanya Bekyarova, senior lecturer and associate chair for biology, received the award for best teacher. Bekyarova is a student favorite for her tough but good classes and her helpfulness.
  • Excellence in Research, Senior Faculty: Zhiling Lan, associate professor of computer science and guest research faculty at Argonne National Laboratory. Her research interests are in high-performance computing (HPC), including fault tolerance, power awareness, resource management and job scheduling, performance optimization, and system supports. She received National Science Foundation (NSF) funding this year for her research on smart HPC through active learning and intelligent scheduling, and she led the team that won the Best Paper Award for “Exploring Void Search for Fault Detection on Extreme Scale Systems,” at IEEE Cluster 2014.
  • Excellence in Research, Junior Faculty: Tie—Mustafa Bilgic, assistant professor of computer science, who received an NSF CAREER Award this year for his research “Active Learning Through Rich and Transparent Interactions”; and Adam Hock, assistant professor of chemistry, who has developed a catalyst to help transform propane to propene and received a $2 million ARPA-E grant to turn methane into usable liquid fuel.
  • Excellence in Staff: Patty Cronin, director of marketing, communications, and external affairs, for her work in helping to brand the college and publicize its people, activities, and achievements.

Dean Betts also noted achievements by Ben Stark, recently elected as a fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science; Xian-He Sun, named a Distinguished Professor this year and presented with a chair to honor his service as chair of the Department of Computer Science; and Xianyang Li, named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a Distinguished Member (Distinguished Scientist) of the Association for Computing Machinery.