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University of Iowa News Release

July 8, 2003

UI Researchers Win Prestigious NSF CAREER Awards

Photo l to r: Cesare Tinelli, Kasturi Varadarajan

Cesare Tinelli and Kasturi Varadarajan, both assistant professors of computer science in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, have been selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to receive Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards.

As award recipients, Tinelli and Varadarajan will receive $404,551 and $400,660, respectively, over the next five years. The CAREER award is the most prestigious NSF honor for new faculty and is given in recognition of research and teaching excellence, as well as academic leadership potential. The awards, presented to researchers nationwide, are designed to recognize and support the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century.

Tinelli, who came to the UI in 1999, earned his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999. He has research interests in the fields of automated reasoning, foundations of programming language, and logic and formal methods in computer science.

Tinelli's NSF research, titled "Fast Provers for Extended Static Checking of Software," involves the development of new automated reasoning techniques and tools for Extended Static Checking (ESC), a process aimed at discovering software errors by analyzing the source code of a program. ESC contrasts with current methods that instead require extensive run-time tests in which the program is executed with several possible inputs. The expectation of the project is that these new automated techniques will make ESC an attractive and cost-effective technology for software development. Routine use of ESC will help uncover more errors during the development phase of software systems, leading to more reliable software products.

Varadarajan, who came to the UI in 2000, earned his doctorate from Duke University in 1998. He has research interests in the fields of computational and combinatorial geometry, as well as approximation algorithms and combinatorial optimization.

Varadarajan's NSF research, titled: "Algorithms for Fitting, Matching, and Simplifying Shapes," involves the development of efficient algorithms for analyzing, comparing, and operating on shapes. It addresses three classes of problems connected with shapes, the first of which is "shape fitting," a problem that arises in discovering trends in statistical data or in estimating how well a manufactured part meets its specifications. The second problem, "shape matching," occurs when estimating how closely two objects -- for example, two human images -- resemble one other. The final problem, "shape simplification," is important in scenarios such as flight simulation when trying to display a scene at the appropriate level of detail.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 301, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, Writer, 319-384-0009,