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The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Profs Win Grants From National Science Foundation

By Christiana SchmitzThe Daily Northwestern

Three McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science faculty members recently received awards from the National Science Foundation, granting each professor more than $75,000 per year for five years of research.

Profs. Dongning Guo, Fabian Bustamante and Bryan Pardo received the prestigious CAREER award, which is offered through the foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program.

The award is offered to young, untenured program investigators who hold doctoral degrees in science, engineering or education, said Dana Topousis, the foundation’s media contact.

Topousis said the foundation receives between 2,500 and 2,600 proposals each year. It awarded 413 awards last year.

The foundation has given out 250 awards this year but still has several months to go, she said.

Guo, whose award totaled almost $150,000 per year, said he will use the money to continue his research on the information and estimation theories within communication technology. He said the grant will allow him to hire two more graduate students to help with his research.

“I also plan to encourage some undergraduates to research with me … to help some undergraduates get familiar with what research is all about,” Guo said.

Raja Bachu, a doctoral student in one of Guo’s classes, said Guo does a good job teaching a very complicated subject and motivating students to come up with new and original ideas.

“He’s a really good professor for his age; he’s very young,” Bachu said. “He’s an excellent teacher.”

Bustamante received $80,000 per year from his CAREER award, which he said will allow him to pursue research on the interrelation of large scale network systems.

Bustamante said this research project, which he has been working on for about a year, will go well beyond the five years funded by the award.

“The more you do, the more you find out that you need to do,” he said.

Stefan Birrer, a fifth-year graduate student, said Bustamante is a great professor and adviser.

“He will give you advice on anything,” said Birrer. “He cares for his students and tries to make an environment for his students to feel productive in.”

Birrer said he’s glad Bustamante received the award.

“He deserved it,” Birrer said.

Pardo plans to use his $98,835-per-year award to study a specific form of information retrieval and management dealing with audio.

The objective of his research is to develop score alignment and source separation to create the ability to “play with specific sound sources however you want,” he said.

Pardo has been working on this research for a couple of years, he said, and though he foresees progress in the five years of the CAREER award, he said his research will continue even after the award is up.

“There’s no such thing as (being) finished in research,” Pardo said.

Reach Christiana Schmitz at [email protected].

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Profs Win Grants From National Science Foundation