Computer Science Department Alumnus Ben Langmead was awarded the 2014 Sloan Research Fellowship. Granted by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, this award identifies 126 early-career scientists based on their potential to contribute fundamentally significant research to a wider academic community. Langmead received his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland Department of Computer Science in 2009 and 2012, respectively. Langmead was co-advised by Computer Science Professor Mihai Pop and Dr. Steven Salzberg during his M.S. work and was advised by Dr. Steven Salzberg during his Ph.D. work. Langmead is now an Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering, where he is a member of the Computational Biology and Medicine Group. His research interests include genomics and sequence alignment, high performance computing, and big data. When asked about what this award means to him, Langmead said, "It's incredibly humbling and gratifying. I appreciate the support of the Sloan Foundation and I am excited about the new directions my lab can go in thanks to this award."
Each 2014 Sloan Research Fellow is awarded a two-year $50,000 grant to support their research interests. Administered and funded by the Sloan Foundation, the fellowships are awarded in eight scientific fields—chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics. Winners are selected through close cooperation with the scientific community. To qualify, candidates must first be nominated by their fellow research scientists and are subsequently selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.