Date Posted: 6/07/2021

Austin Benson, Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science in the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, has become the fifth CS faculty member to win a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Award this year. Benson joins Rachit AgarwalEshan ChattopadhyayChris De Sa, and Owolabi Legunsen, fellow assistant professors of computer science. These substantive awards—with financial support spread across the next five years—support early-career faculty who have, according to the NSF, "the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization."

When discussing his plans for the award, Benson remarked: "I will use the CAREER award to further my research on higher-order network analysis, which develops new algorithms for analyzing, mining, and learning from data arising from interconnected systems, such as social, information, financial, and biological networks. The research will revolve around insights enabled by three richer representations for such data than is typically used: hypergraphs, tensors, and simplicial complexes." 

Reflecting on further implications of his research, Benson added: "In addition to new methods and algorithms, the research will support the development of robust software libraries to make it much easier for other researchers to incorporate higher-order network analysis into their own projects."

And there are pedagogical implications as well. Referencing the department's annual intensive research training for students, SoNIC, Benson notes how "an educational component of the research will involve new research modules for Cornell’s SoNIC workshop that are based on topics in network science."

Continue reading about the other NSF Career Award winners.

More coverage of Benson's research.

Read also this piece in the Cornell Chronicle.