UTA Receives $1.5 million to Increase PhDs in Areas of National Need

Articles UTA 11-16-15

The University of Texas at Arlington departments of Mathematics and Computer Science and Engineering have been awarded a total of $1.5 million for two U.S. Department of Education grants to help students earn doctoral degrees in areas of national need.

The highly competitive Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need, or GAANN, grants will provide fellowships over the next three years to assist graduate students of superior ability who demonstrate financial need. UTA was the only Texas school awarded funding during the 2015 GAANN grant cycle.

The Mathematics grant will serve graduate students in disciplines ranging from applied and computational mathematics to mathematics education, probability and statistics. The Computer Science and Engineering grant will benefit graduate students specializing in sustainable computing at UTA.

Tuncay Aktosun, professor of mathematics and an expert in inverse problems and wave propagation, is the principal investigator on the $923,000 mathematics GAANN grant. His co-principal investigators are professor and department Chair Jianzhong Su, David Jorgensen, Ruth Gornet and Hristo Kojouharov.

Speaking on behalf of the team, Dr. Su said, “The GAANN award recognizes the excellent work that our faculty members do to prepare more mathematics doctoral students – particularly women and minorities – to become future leaders in this important field.”

Ishfaq Ahmad, professor of computer science and engineering and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is an expert in high-performance parallel and distributed computing, multicore processors, optimization algorithms and in developing energy-ware “green” high-performance computing systems and data centers. He is the principal investigator on a $600,000 grant to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the department’s second GAANN award. Co-principal investigators on the current grant are Hao Che, Gautam Das, Ramez Elmasri, Leo Fegaras, Bahram Khalili and Carter Tiernan.

Hong Jiang, the Wendell H. Nedderman Endowed Professor and Chair of the UTA Department of Computer Science and Engineering, said his department’s GAANN award is the latest in a series of significant awards won by CSE faculty and students in recent years. The department offers a highly competitive program in Ph.D. education, he said.

“The GAANN award signals that the University and the CSE Department’s research strength in general, and in sustainable computing in particular, is recognized at the national level,” said Dr. Jiang, a former program director for the National Science Foundation and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. “It further signifies the strong track record and capability of CSE’s faculty in mentoring and producing high-quality Ph.D. students to meet the national demand for a competitive IT workforce.”   

You can read more about the two U.S. Department of Education grants at UT Arlington’s website.