FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2004
Sandia researcher wins Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
Washington, D.C. — Dr. Tamara Kolda, a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories in California, is one of 57 young scientists from around the country to be selected for a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the nation’s highest honor for outstanding scientists and engineers embarking on an independent research career. The announcement was made today by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy in Washington, D.C.
Kolda will receive her award from the President’s Science Adviser John H. Marburger III at a White House ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Kolda was nominated by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and will also be honored by Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham in a special ceremony at DOE headquarters.
“The work of these young scientists and engineers is an excellent example of the kind of innovative and forward-looking research that our nation needs to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century,” Abraham said of the award recipients. “Their work will help to contribute to our energy security and independence far into the future.”
Said C. Paul Robinson, Sandia President and Laboratories Director: “We are very proud of Dr. Kolda and the achievements recognized by this prestigious award. Tamara is an outstanding role model for other young researchers. I’m confident that that she will continue to make significant contributions to the scientific community throughout her career and encourage others through her energetic leadership.”
Ken Washington, director of Sandia California’s Center for Distributed Information Systems, added: “Dr. Kolda has already demonstrated that she is a top notch scientist and innovator by developing several new computational algorithms that are in widespread use today. We have no doubt there will be many more such accomplishments in the future.”
Kolda, an applied mathematician and computational scientist at Sandia-California, was cited for bringing great energy and creativity to her significant contributions in diverse areas. Her research interests include optimization, nonlinear equations, tensor decompositions, graph algorithms, parallel computing, and the design of scientific software.
“I am incredibly honored and excited to receive this award,” Kolda remarked, “and I am extremely grateful to Sandia and the DOE for nominating me. I enjoy working at Sandia in an environment where I am surrounded by wonderful colleagues and have a stimulating environment for excellence in research.”
Using mathematical algorithms and software designed by Kolda and her collaborators, Sandia engineers have been able to solve complex design engineering problems on Sandia’s large-scale parallel computers. Continuing to pursue her wide-ranging interests, Kolda has recently starting a new project to combine techniques from multilinear algebra and graph theory for data mining.
Prior to joining Sandia in 1999, Kolda held a two-year position as the Alston S. Householder Postdoctoral Fellow in Scientific Computing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She received her Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Maryland in 1997. At Sandia, she leads projects to develop mathematical algorithms and high performance computing tools with applications ranging from engineering to biology to information science.
Outside of her research for Sandia and the Department of Energy, Kolda is active in the larger mathematics community, serving in many capacities ranging from workshop organization to editorial board duties to holding elected office. She is particularly interested in encouraging younger researchers and serving as an example to other women who are considering pursuing a career in mathematics.
Kolda is one of four awardees nominated by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. She is only the third Sandian to ever win the award.
Established in 1996, the PECASE program is intended to recognize some of the finest scientists and engineers who, while early in their research careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge during the twenty-first century. The Awards will foster innovative and far-reaching developments in science and technology, increase awareness of careers in science and engineering, give recognition to the scientific missions of participating agencies, enhance connections between fundamental research and national goals, and highlight the importance of science and technology for the nation’s future.
Eight federal agencies administer the awards, guaranteeing the winners up to five years of funding to further their research in critical areas. Besides the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration, the other nominating agencies are the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Commerce.
Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
Sandia media contact: Mike Janes, email@example.com, (925) 294-2447