ISR awards ceremony honors faculty, graduate student, staff member

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ISR Director Eyad Abed presents awards at the 2009 ISR awards ceremony. Top, Professor P.S. Krishnaprasad accepts the Faculty Award on behalf of himself, Professor Cynthia Moss and Associate Professor Timothy Horiuchi. Middle, Ashis Gopal Banerjee accepts the George Harhalakis Outstanding Systems Engineering Graduate Student Award. Bottom, IT Specialist Aaron Sanders accepts the Staff Award.

ISR Director Eyad Abed presented awards to five members of the ISR family on June 23 at the Institute's annual awards ceremony. Dr. Abed's comments follow.

Outstanding Faculty Award: Timothy Horiuchi, P.S. Krishnaprasad and Cindy Moss
Their collaboration is inherently cross-disciplinary and is a prime example of the raison d’être for the Institute for Systems Research. This work is highly creative and innovative and, moreover, unique to ISR and UMD, aiming to understand how bats use echolocation to navigate in complex 3D environments, creating models and hardware that explore the mechanisms that bats are using to accomplish these feats. This work has already had great impact in terms of scientific understanding, engineering tools, and technology development and these benefits will surely continue and intensify in the future.

Jonathan Simon concurs, "Having shared common lab space with Dr. Horiuchi, I am well aware of the substantial groundwork for this current collaboration that was being laid at least as far back as 7 years ago, with frequent meetings, discussions, and research interactions among the labs. These activities were going on for years before any of the three faculty members realized any tangible benefits. In the true spirit of scientific discovery, these three colleagues were engaging in cross-disciplinary dialogue and research because that is where the scientific questions led them."

George Harhalakis Outstanding Systems Engineering Graduate Student Award: Ashis Gopal Banerjee
A graduate student of Professor S. K. Gupta (ME/ISR), who, on April 13, 2009, won first prize for his research poster, “Real-Time Path Planning for Automating Optical Tweezers based Particle Transport Operations” in the Advances in Technology-2 category at the University of Maryland’s Graduate Research Interaction Day. The work is at the forefront of nanoscale manufacturing studies and connects nanotechnology and optical tweezers research with probabilistic modeling, partially observed Markov decision processes and widely studied and combine the physical modeling with systems tools for path planning is commendable.

Outstanding Staff Award: Aaron Sanders
IT Specialist Aaron exemplifies great dedication to his work and goes above and beyond what one would expect whenever needed. He is always accessible and demonstrates the utmost in professionalism, and to paraphrase, doesn’t look down on non-geeks. He never complains about his work, he always has a great demeanor and a warm smile. Again, from the nomination letter, “I have never had to bring something back to him to be fixed a second time.”

Published June 24, 2009