Indian American professor at University of California (UC), Berkeley wins NSF Career Award



The National Science Foundation (NSF) honored an Indian American electrical engineering and computer science assistant professor at the University of California (UC), Berkeley with the Faculty Early Career Development Award.

The NSF awarded EECS assistant professor Gireeja Ranade. As part of the award, the assistant professor of UC, Ranade, will receive a grant that is meant to enable her to serve as an academic role model in research and education. The grant will help her explore new non-linear control strategies, a news release issued by the UC, Berkeley.

The awards are part of NSF’s prestigious CAREER Program, which supports early-career faculty “who have the potential to serve as academic role models” and leaders in their field. The other assistant professor to receive the NSF award is Sophia Shao.

The CAREER Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from early-career faculty at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply.

Ranade is the recipient of a $519,947 grant award to explore new non-linear control strategies. According to the proposal, “the ability to analyze and give guarantees for refined models can better characterize the risk for safety-critical systems.”

“I’m honored to have received the CAREER award,” Ranade said. “The funding and the recognition will support my group’s research in control theory and education.”

Shao received a grant amount of $600,000 to fund her work toward improving the performance of computing platforms, including her research in hardware acceleration. The work would benefit a variety of systems, such as robotics and self-driving cars.

“I am particularly excited about this award because it will enable me and my team to pursue our research goals with greater resources and opportunities,” Shao said. “We are passionate about advancing the field of computer architecture.”

According to her award proposal, Ranade will explore the ability to analyze and give guarantees for refined models that can better characterize the risk for safety-critical systems. “As an undergrad at MIT, I had a ton of fun being involved in Dramashop (Our Town, Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom), The Tech (my article about the blaster worm made it to Slashdot before I even knew what Slashdot was), and doing research in the Computational Physiology and Clinical Inference Group. I owe a lot to M. Prakash Sir and the Bhaskaracharya Pratishthan in Pune, India for helping me see the beauty of mathematics. Thank you to him and so many more of my teachers who helped me become who I am,” she said.

Before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley, Ranade was a Researcher at Microsoft Research AI in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction Group. She also designed and taught the first offering for the new course sequence EECS16A and EECS16B in the EECS department at UC Berkeley and received the 2017 UC Berkeley Electrical Engineering Award for Outstanding Teaching. She was also awarded the 2020 UC Berkeley Award for Extraordinary Teaching in Extraordinary Times. Prof. Ranade received her PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and her undergraduate degree from MIT in Cambridge, MA.


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