A Trio of AAAS Fellows

A biologist, an engineer and a computer scientist are among the newest members of the prestigious organization

Three UC Santa Barbara faculty members have been elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for 2016. Biologist Kathleen Foltz, engineer Kaustav Banerjee and computer scientist Divyakant Agrawal have each been named fellows of the prestigious organization.

Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. The UCSB professors join 388 other newly elected members to AAAS for 2016.

“It is a special honor to congratulate three of our colleagues on their election to the American Association for the Advancement of Science,” said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “Professors Agrawal, Banerjee, and Foltz join the ranks of distinguished fellows at one of the world’s foremost scientific societies — one with a strong tradition of promoting collaboration, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsibility and supporting scientific education.

“This prestigious honor highlights their pioneering contributions, as recognized by peers in the same fields. We are immensely proud and honored to have them as scientific leaders and colleagues on our campus.” 

Foltz, a professor in UCSB’s Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, was cited among her peers in the association’s section on biological sciences “for distinguished contributions to the developmental and cell biology of fertilization and egg activation, and in mentoring, outreach, education and undergraduate research in STEM fields.”

Foltz’s research focuses on molecular- and cellular-level activity and signaling at the moment of fertilization and oocyte activation. She has been named a Searle Scholar and a National Science Foundation Faculty Fellow. She also is the recipient of UCSB’s Plous Award, the Chancellor’s Award for contributions to undergraduate research and the Distinguished Teaching Award. Foltz also holds an appointment at UCSB’s Marine Science Institute, and is interim dean of the campus’s College of Creative Studies.

A professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Banerjee was recognized in AAAS’s section on engineering “for distinguished contributions to nanoelectronics, particularly for pioneering devices and interconnects with nanomaterials, and innovating circuit and chip design concepts, all advancing toward ultra-energy-efficient electronics.”

The director of UCSB’s Nanoelectronics Research Lab, Banerjee’s research interests include nanometer-scale issues in complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor very large-scale integrated circuits as well as emerging nanotechnology. A fellow of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), he is the recipient of the IEEE Kiyo Tomiyasu Award and the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation. Banerjee is also affiliated with the California Nanosystems Institute and the Institute for Energy Efficiency at UCSB.

Agrawal’s “contributions to the design and development of scalable fault-tolerant infrastructures for large scale data and information” were cited by AAAS in its section on information, computing and communication. A professor of computer science, Agrawal focuses his research in the areas of database systems, distributed computing, data warehousing and large-scale information systems. His current interests include scalable data management and data analysis in cloud computing environments, and security and privacy of data in the cloud.

Agrawal is a fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery and of the IEEE. He is the recipient of Best Paper awards from IEEE and serves on editorial boards of several journals and publications. He also is the recipient of a UCSB Graduate Mentor Award and is the director of Engineering Computing Infrastructure at UCSB’s College of Engineering.

Foltz, Banerjee and Agrawal will be presented with official certificates and gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pins on Saturday, Feb. 18, during the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Mass.

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