MIT Physics News Spotlight
Five MIT researchers win presidential early career honors
Jarillo-Herrero, Lu, Pathak, Sinha and Thaler among 96 winners.
MIT News Office
July 23, 2012
Left: Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, the Mitsui Career Development Assistant Professor in the
Department of Physics. Right: Jesse Thaler, an assistant professor of physics.
President Barack Obama today named five members of the MIT faculty as recipients of Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Among the 96 honored, the winners from MIT are Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, the Mitsui Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics; Timothy K. Lu ’03, MEng ’03, PhD ’08, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Parag A. Pathak, an associate professor in the Department of Economics; Pawan Sinha SM ’92, PhD ’95, a professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; and Jesse Thaler, an assistant professor of physics.
The Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President coordinates the awards, which were established by President Bill Clinton in 1996. Eleven federal departments and agencies joined together to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers this year. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach.
“Discoveries in science and technology not only strengthen our economy, they inspire us as a people,” Obama said in a statement. “The impressive accomplishments of today’s awardees so early in their careers promise even greater advances in the years ahead.”
Sinha, whose nomination came from the Department of Health and Human Services, was honored for studies on the age-related development of object perception.