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TO: University Senate

FROM: Dennis N. Assanis, Provost

DATE: December 5, 2011


SBU-Led Research Team Receives INCITE Award
A team of researchers led by James Glimm, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Stony Brook University, has been awarded 35 million hours of supercomputing time on the IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer at Argonne National Laboratory—one of only 60 projects chosen for the 2012 U. S. Department of Energy’s Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) awards. This award will allow the team to use the supercomputer to run calculations exploring the turbulence of fluids and stochastic convergence for turbulent combustion.
Professor Glimm is a past president of the American Mathematical Society and a 2002 recipient of the National Medal of Science given by former President George W. Bush. He received the American Mathematical Society’s Steele Prize (1992) and the American Physical Society’s Heineman Prize (1980). The Department of Energy has also adopted Professor Glimm’s front-track methodology for shock-wave calculations (simulating weapons performance).
Members of this research team include Professor Glimm, Xiangmin Jiao and Xiaolin Li from Stony Brook University; Mirko Gamba, Johan Larsson and Parviz Moin from Stanford University; Vitali Morozov of Argonne National Laboratory; and David Sharp of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

SBU Professor Selected for Jefferson Science Fellowship

Devinder Mahajan, PhD, a Professor in the Materials Science & Engineering Department and Co-Director of the Chemical and Molecular Engineering Program at Stony Brook University who holds a joint appointment with Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been named a 2011-2012 Jefferson Science Fellow—an honor given to only 13 individuals this year and 66 since its inception in 2003. He is the first Jefferson Science Fellow recipient from Stony Brook University.
The Jefferson Science Fellowship, named after Thomas Jefferson, the first U.S. Secretary of State, is a prestigious program that brings tenured professors of science and engineering to the State Department for one year to advise officials on science issues related to current and emerging policy. Dr. Mahajan’s research interests focus on energy issues. His vision is to develop low-carbon energy technologies that will lead to commercialization for the benefit of society and to train students in the next generation of renewable technologies.
Dr. Mahajan is currently serving his fellowship in the U.S. Department of State Bureau for Energy Resources in Washington, D.C. This new bureau is the result of the Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) initially announced by Secretary Clinton during her speech to the Economic Club in New York on October 14, 2011. After the fellowship is complete, he will remain on call for five years as a science advisor and expert resource to the State Department.
SBU Receives Science Education Grant from Astellas USA Foundation
Stony Brook University’s Center for Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME) received a $15,700 grant from the Astellas USA Foundation to support the Protein Modeling Challenge—an annual high school science competition that allows high school students to demonstrate their knowledge of a specific topic in biomedical research by constructing a protein model.
Now in its fifth year, the competition is scheduled for February 29, 2012 at the Charles B. Wang Center. The competition comprises teams of high school students and their teachers who will use information from scientific databases and current research literature to build a model of the featured protein. This year’s theme is rational drug design where students will focus on constructing models of the c-Met protein, an important target of cancer chemotherapy research.
During the competition, teams will have an opportunity to explain the function of the protein, and their model of it, to university students, as well as professional scientists and researchers from Stony Brook and Astellas. Competitors will be evaluated on their background knowledge and accuracy of the model. Select teams are then invited to use computer design software to design and build a three-dimensional model of the topic protein using Stony Brook’s new 3-D rapid prototyping machine, purchased with a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

2012 Academic Excellence and Outstanding Achievement Awards

We are seeking nominations for awards to be presented on April 23, 2012, recognizing excellence among our undergraduate students in the categories of Academic Excellence and Outstanding Achievement. Awards for Academic Excellence are given for academic accomplishments that go beyond the classroom experience. Awards for Outstanding Achievement are presented for excellence in activities that relate to the co-curricular life of the University and surrounding community. Nomination forms can be found on-line at

Guidelines and Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Students must be matriculated, must have completed at least two semesters at Stony Brook, and must be enrolled for at least nine credits.
  2. Previous winners may be recognized, but the recognition must be for new achievements. Students may be nominated by faculty, staff, or graduate students. A selection committee composed of members of the University community will review the nominations and select recipients.
  3. Although students will be given an opportunity to submit relevant supplementary material in support of their nomination (e.g. a personal statement and resume), the letters of reference play the most significant role in forming the committee's decision. It is important, therefore, that you describe in detail the student's specific accomplishments, above and beyond good performance and completion of curricular requirements. It is preferred that letters of support be submitted electronically.
  4. Nomination materials must be received no later than Friday, February 3, 2012.
  5. The University's Thirtieth Undergraduate Excellence and Outstanding Achievement Annual Ceremony will be held on Monday evening, April 23, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Student Activities Center Auditorium. This ceremony provides us with an opportunity to publicly honor the outstanding accomplishments of our undergraduate students and the faculty and staff who mentor them.

SBU to Offer New civil engineering program beginning fall 2012
Stony Brook University’s new Civil Engineering program will begin by admitting freshmen into the undergraduate major in the fall of 2012. The B.E. Civil Engineering degree will prepare students with a breadth and depth in the requisite technical knowledge so that they can work immediately in most areas of the profession, including: geotechnical engineering; environmental engineering; hydraulics; structural engineering; construction management; and transportation/traffic engineering. The program will reside within the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

This undergraduate program offers a balanced approach to Civil Engineering education by teaching students the fundamentals of engineering design, as well as potential applications. Students are taught how to use computer software to expedite the design process, and they are also taught how to balance engineering designs with economic constraints. Students take a common core of Civil Engineering courses, and choose from one of the following tracks to complement their depth requirement in Civil Engineering: Transportation Engineering; Geotechnical Engineering; Environmental Engineering; and Structural Engineering.

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