Sloan fellow

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Feb. 29, 2016

CMSE faculty member awarded prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship

Matthew J. Hirn, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering (CMSE), has been awarded a 2016 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.

The prestigious two-year, $55,000 fellowships are awarded yearly by the Sloan Foundation to early-career scientists in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their fields of research.

Hirn joined MSU in 2015. He received his PhD from the University of Maryland in 2009 and continued his training as a postdoc at Yale University, followed by a postdoc at École Normale Supérieure in Paris, France.

Hirn’s research is at the interface of data science and scientific computing, and consists of both foundational and applied work related to the mathematical analysis of high dimensional data. He develops multilevel, multiscale algorithms that learn patterns in complex data to attack difficult scientific problems, primarily in the physical and biological sciences. He is also a passionate supporter of undergraduate and graduate education and research.

“It is a great and humbling honor to be counted among the past and present Sloan Research Fellows,” Hirn said. “Personally, it further motivates me to strive to do good science, while reinforcing my belief that the avenues my collaborators and I have chosen have indeed been, and will continue to be, interesting. The award will give additional flexibility to my research, and will allow for greater risk taking, which, hopefully, will lead to better and more innovative science.”

Andrew Christlieb, University Foundation Professor of Mathematics and CMSE chair, was thrilled about Hirn’s selection as a Sloan fellow and the additional support it will lend to his innovative research.

“Matt’s work is unique in that he is developing next generation machine learning algorithms in order to address some of the most pressing and challenging problems arising in large scale computational modeling,” Christlieb said. “This aspect of Matt’s work makes him a critical link in CMSE, and really points to an untapped potential at the interface of computing and data science. We are truly honored that the Sloan Foundation has taken this opportunity to recognize one of our energetic, young scientists.”

Sloan Research Fellowships were established in 1955 to provide support and recognition to scientists, often in their first appointments to university faculties, who were endeavoring to set up laboratories and establish their independent research projects with little or no outside support. Forty-three Sloan Research Fellows have won Nobel Prizes later in their careers, and hundreds have received other honors.