Batra and Davenport Honored with Prestigious Science Award from the White House


In early July, President Donald J. Trump awarded top scientists and engineers with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineering (PECASE). Three Georgia Tech faculty members have been named recipients.

Dhruv BatraMark Davenport, and Matthew McDowell were three of the 12 researchers recognized from the state of Georgia.

PECASE is “the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology,” according to the White House.

“I’m extremely grateful to be awarded a PECASE. It is an incredible honor to be included in such an accomplished group of researchers. I look forward to seeing what’s next for all of us,” said Davenport, an associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Davenport’s research focuses on the fundamental role that low-dimensional models and optimization play in machine learning, signal processing, and statistical inference.

Batra is an assistant professor in the School of Interactive Computing. The research Batra’s lab will pursue with the funding addresses a fundamental challenge in the development of AI – their “black-box” nature, the consequent difficulty humans face in identifying why or how AI systems fail, and how to improve upon those technologies. His research aims to make AI systems more trustworthy, explainable and transparent.

Batra and Davenport are also affiliated faculty members of the Machine Learning Center at Georgia Tech. McDowell is an assistant professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering.

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