On Tuesday, October 18th, the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering hosted the inaugural A.V. ‘Bal’ Balakrishnan Awards for Excellence in Scientific Research in the area of Mathematics of Systems. The award was established thanks to a generous gift from Mrs. Sophia Balakrishnan, honoring the memory of her late husband and USC Viterbi professor, A.V. ‘Bal’ Balakrishnan. Petros Ioannou, professor of electrical and computer engineering and inaugural holder of the A.V. ‘Bal’ Balakrishnan Chair at USC Viterbi, played an invaluable role in organizing the award process.
In alternating years, the award is given as an early career honor and a general research honor. Because the Covid-19 pandemic limited travel last year, both the 2021 early career recipient and the 2022 research award recipient were honored.
“The inaugural recipients of the Balakrishnan award, Yongxin Chen and Miroslav Krstic, exemplified the excellence, humility, and vision of our beloved late colleague Bal. They will continue carrying his legacy in today’s fast-changing world for the benefit of the scientific and technical community for many years to come,” said Dean Yannis Yortsos.
Yongxin Chen – Georgia Institute of Technology
Yongxin Chen is the 2021 inaugural winner of the A.V. ‘Bal’ Balakrishnan Early Career Award for Excellence in Scientific research for his work in control theory, optimization, machine learning, and robotics. Chen develops new algorithms and theoretical frameworks for real-world applications at Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering. The Early Career Award carries an honorarium of $5,000.
Professor Chen’s lecture, titled “A Journey Through Diffusions,” gave an overview of his research that is closely related to the field of diffusion – an area in which professor Balakrishnan had himself made earlier contributions. Chen discussed how the mathematical tool of diffusion plays an important role in a wide range of engineering applications, including control, machine learning, and Bayesian inference.
Miroslav Krstic – University of California, San Diego
Miroslav Krstic is the 2022 inaugural winner of the A.V. ‘Bal’ Balakrishnan Research Award. Krstic is the Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at UC San Diego and the director of the Center for Control Systems and Dynamics, where he works on nonlinear, adaptive, and infinite dimensional control theory and many applications. The research award carries an honorarium of $10,000.
Professor Krstic’s lecture, titled “An Odyssey Through PDE Control with Constraints,” in its introductory part reviewed some of the key contributions by Professor Balakrishnan in the field of PDE control and his impact on the junior phase of the careers of some of the leading researchers in that field. Then, Krstic presented some of his recent results that resonate with Bal’s interests, on control of fluid flows and fluid-structure interactions. These results have impact from classical aerodynamics to traffic flows and epidemiology.
Nominations for the next Early Career Award will begin on February 1, 2023. Nominations for the next Research Award commence on February 1st, 2024. For more information on the awards and how to make a nomination, visit the Balakrishnan Library website.
Published on January 20th, 2023
Last updated on January 25th, 2023