MSU assistant professor receives DARPA Young Faculty Award

Posted at 11:40 AM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 11:40:16-04

Matthew Hirn, assistant professor in MSU’s Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering, is the recipient of a prestigious 2016 Young Faculty Award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The Young Faculty Award program identifies and engages rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions. The program’s long-term goal is to develop the next generation of academic scientists, engineers and mathematicians in key disciplines who will focus a significant portion of their careers on the Department of Defense and national security issues.

“Matt’s DARPA Young Faculty Award is a testament not only to the quality of his research, but to the caliber of junior faculty members that we have here at MSU,” said Andrew Christlieb, MSU Foundation Professor and CMSE chair. “Awards such as these provide important recognition of, and support for, our next generation of scientists. We congratulate Matt on this well-deserved honor.”

Hirn, who also is a faculty member in MSU’s Department of Mathematics in the College of Natural Science, said the two-year, $494,786 grant will support his team’s ongoing work. The team is focused on developing algorithms that can learn intrinsic physical patterns from data generated by molecules, crystals and other solids.

“These patterns are then leveraged to compute chemical and physical quantities of interest for complex systems that up to now have been inaccessible,” Hirn said. “The project will focus on computational work and specific applications in materials science.”

Hirn, who joined MSU in 2015, earned a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Cornell University and a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Maryland.