Four additional College of Science faculty have been selected as 2017 recipients of the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, a prestigious honor intended to help kick-start the careers of promising junior faculty members.

Dr. Dean Baskin, assistant professor of mathematics; Dr. Anirban Bhattacharya and Dr. Mattias Katzfuss, assistant professors of statistics; and Dr. Jeremy Holt, assistant professor of physics, join Texas A&M chemist Dr. Lei Fang in receiving the coveted accolade to date this year within the college, according to Texas A&M Science administrators and NSF online awards database records.

Baskin's proposal, titled "Wave Evolution on Singular Spacetimes" and funded at a projected total amount of $378,655 over the next five years through the Division of Mathematical Sciences, will study the often-subtle relationship between the underlying geometry of a space and the long- and short-time behavior of waves propagating on it, revealing insights applicable across multiple scientific and engineering-related fields.

Bhattacharya's proposal, titled "Bayesian Generalized Shrinkage: An Encompassing Model Approach," has been funded through the Division of Mathematical Sciences at $373,945 over the next five years. His work capitalizes on his expertise in Bayesian model averaging and selection, which is expected to advance statistical inference for high-dimensional data and create user-friendly software packages to facilitate analysis of structured data sets.

Holt's proposal, titled "Nuclear Microphysics of Neutron Stars, Core-Collapse Supernovae, and Compact Object Mergers," is funded through the Division of Physics at $402,090 through the next five years to study the structure, phases and dynamics of nuclear matter, which are key to answering fundamental questions at the interface of nuclear physics and astrophysics dating back to the earliest moments of our universe. A major long-term goal is to understand how the strong nuclear force shapes the structure, evolution, and observable emissions of high-energy astrophysical systems, such as core-collapse supernovae, neutron stars, and binary neutron star mergers.

Katzfuss' proposal, titled "Data Assimilation for Massive Spatio-Temporal Systems Using Multi-Resolution Filters," also has been funded through the Division of Mathematical Sciences at $422,925 over the next five years. His work will produce powerful and scalable open-source software for data assimilation in large spatio-temporal systems with varying degrees of nonlinearity. It will lead to improved inference, forecasts, diagnostics, downscaling, and calibration using data assimilation in many fields of science with direct impact on society, including weather forecasting, climate studies, renewable energy, and pollution monitoring.

The NSF CAREER Award was established to support junior faculty within the context of their overall career development, combining in a single program the support of research and education of the highest quality and in the broadest sense. Through this program, the NSF emphasizes the importance on the early development of academic careers dedicated to stimulating the discovery process in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching and enthusiastic learning.

Baskin earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Stanford University in 2010 and was a Boas Assistant Professor and NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University before accepting an assistant professor appointment in the Texas A&M Department of Mathematics in 2014. His research focuses generally on partial differential equations and more specifically on geometric microlocal analysis.

Bhattacharya earned his Ph.D. in statistics from Duke University in 2012, then completed one year of postdoctoral study there prior to joining the Texas A&M Department of Statistics faculty in 2013. His research focuses on theoretical properties of high-dimensional and nonparametric Bayesian procedures, including shrinkage priors and variable selection.

Holt received his Ph.D. from Stony Brook University in 2008 and performed postdoctoral research at the Technical University of Munich and the University of Washington in Seattle (where he is an affiliate professor) before coming the Texas A&M Department of Physics and Astronomy as a Nuclear Solutions Institute hire in 2015. His Cyclotron Institute-affiliated research explores the structure, phases and dynamics of strongly interacting matter -- protons, neutrons, quarks and gluons -- at high temperatures reflecting extreme astrophysical environments.

Katzfuss received both his master's of science (2008) and Ph.D. in statistics (2011) from The Ohio State University after completing undergraduate and graduate studies in statistics at the University of Munich. He conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Heidelberg for two years prior to joining the Texas A&M Statistics faculty in 2013. Katzfuss' research spans the gamut of Bayesian spatial statistics, with primary application in environmental science.

Click here to learn more about the NSF and the CAREER program.

Visit the Texas A&M Division of Research website to see lists of current and past NSF CAREER Award recipients across the university.

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Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. Dean Baskin

  • Dr. Anirban Bhattacharya

  • Dr. Jeremy Holt

  • Dr. Matthias Katzfuss

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