Two Cornell faculty members -- Gregory Fuchs and A. Kevin Tang -- are among this year's 48 winners of the Air Force Young Investigator Research Program.
The program, administered by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, is open to U.S. scientists and engineers who have received a Ph.D. or equivalent in the last five years and have shown "exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research." The objective of the program is to "foster creative basic research in science and engineering; enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators; and increase opportunities for the young investigator to recognize the Air Force mission and related challenges in science and engineering."
Fuchs, assistant professor of applied and engineering physics, has been awarded $375,000 over three years to support his research into optical methods of probing magnetization with nanoscale spatial resolution and picosecond time resolution. He plans to use these techniques to study the dynamics of magnetic oscillators and memory.
Tang, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been awarded $375,000 over three years to conduct a research project to help monitor such large-scale networks as the Internet and power grids to avoid possible system failure and to optimize performance. The scale and complexity of such systems raise the need to quickly infer and monitor component characteristics from a relatively small number of indirect aggregate measurements. Tang's project aims at providing fundamental understanding and constructing algorithms for such measurements.
This year the Air Force received 220 proposals in such areas as aerospace, chemical and materials sciences; physics and electronics; and mathematics, information and life sciences.