Date Posted: 3/03/2022

By Tom Fleischman for the Cornell Chronicle

Researchers studying verification of randomized algorithms, police violence worldwide, polymer nanoparticle synthesis and robotics are among the 10 Cornell assistant professors who have recently received National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Awards.

Over the next five years, each will receive approximately $400,000 to $600,000 from the program, which supports early-career faculty “who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization,” according to the NSF. Each funded project must include an educational component.

Justin Hsu, assistant professor of computer science in the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, will use his award for his work on randomized algorithms, which play a central role in areas including machine learning, data privacy and cryptography. Like all software, probabilistic programs are susceptible to bugs; furthermore, correctness properties rest on mathematical proof, and missteps in these arguments can render algorithms incorrect before they are even implemented, which could have long-range consequences. This proposal seeks to advance the theory and practice of verification for probabilistic programs, developing technology to increase our confidence in these programs.

Hsu joins fellow assistant professor of computer science, Bharath Hariharan, in winning the award this year.

This story originally appeared in the Cornell Chronicle