College of Sciences Faculty Win NSF Early-Career Awards

School of Mathematics scores four of the prestigious grants.

Editor's Note: This story was updated on June 23, 2016, to include Simon N. Sponberg. NSF announced Sponberg's award later than those of the others.


Six faculty members in the College of Sciences are among the recent recipients of the early-career grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The highly competitive awards are from the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program; they provide five years of funding to junior faculty.

Of the five College of Sciences CAREER award recipients, four are assistant professors in the School of Mathematics. Their names and research interests are:

  • Michael K. Damron –  dynamical systems, probability, and statistics

  • Esther Ezra – discrete geometry, combinatorics, probability, discrepancy theory, and approximation algorithms

  • Jennifer C. Hom – low-dimensional topology, Heegaard Floer homology, knot theory, concordance, and Dehn surgery

  • Kirsten G. Wickelgren – algebra, geometry, and topology

Amit R. Reddi, an assistant professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is the fifth College of Sciences CAREER awardee. Reddi studies metalloproteins. His lab is interested in determining the cellular, molecular, and chemical mechanisms by which these proteins are activated in cells and their roles in cell metabolism and physiology. 

Simon N. Sponberg, an assistant professor in the School of Physics, is the sixth College of Sciences CAREER awardee. Sponberg, who has a partial appointment in the School of Applied Physiology, is interested in animal locomotion. His lab studies how the versatile, agile movements of animals arise from their physiological components, from the perspectives of physics and comparative biology. 

“I’m thrilled – but not at all surprised – by the recognition of accomplishment and promise by our early-career colleagues that these NSF CAREER awards signal. Their successes reflect the vigor they bring to their respective schools and to mathematics and the sciences at Georgia Tech,” says College of Sciences Dean Paul M. Goldbart.

The CAREER awards are NSF’s most prestigious grant to support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars. Through five years of sustained support, the award enables promising and talented researchers to build a foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.

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  • Michael K. Damron

  • Esther Ezra

  • Jennifer C. Hom

  • Kirsten G. Wickelgren

  • Amit R. Reddi

  • Simon N. Sponberg

For More Information Contact

A. Maureen Rouhi

Director of Communications

College of Sciences