Alumnus Receives Prestigious PECASE Award

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February 14, 2017

Alumnus Dr. James M. Kang (Ph.D., 2010) was recently one of the 102 scientists former President Barack Obama named as recipient of the 2016 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers.

“I congratulate these outstanding scientists and engineers on their impactful work,” President Obama is quoted as saying in the White House’s official release. “These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that Federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy.”

Kang completed his Ph.D. with mentor Professor Shashi Shekhar.  Shortly after receiving it, he joined the research division of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the nation's primary source of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), which is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information that describes, assesses and visually depicts physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth.

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While pursuing his degree within our Department, Kang designed novel spatio-temporal data mining techniques. One of his projects was monitoring water quality using sensors to detect flow-anomalies to locate hidden pollution sources along streams and rivers. Kang was recruited to the University of Minnesota as a fellow through a National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) grant.

Kang joins a small handful of alumni (Prof. Edmond Chow, Prof. Suzanne Shontz) and faculty members, who have received this highly selective award from the President of the United States. For a complete list of the 2017 PECASE recipients, please visit the White House’s archives.

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Alumni News