Tufts Engineer Earns NSF Career Award to Study Multidimensional Data Science

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (June 1, 2016) — Shuchin Aeron, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in Tufts University’s School of Engineering, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Shuchin is the fourth member of the School of Engineering faculty this year to be recognized as one of the country’s most promising scientists and engineers.

Aeron received a five-year $530,000 NSF award for his work advancing multidimensional data science via new algebraic models and algorithms. He aims to re-invigorate interest among other researchers in using tools from linear and multilinear algebra that are currently overlooked.

The new algorithms can be applied to problems in a wide range of fields, including social networks, medical imaging, geophysical inversion, computer vision, big data management, and forecasting of complex events. As a result, the research involves collaboration with multiple groups at Tufts and beyond, including: the Department of Mathematics in the School of Arts & Sciences, the Department of Neuroscience in the School of Medicine, and the Tufts Interactive Learning and Collaboration Environment (InterLACE) program, part of the School of Engineering’s Center for Engineering Education and Outreach; Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston; and AT&T.

“Shuchin is an example of the depth and breadth of talented researchers within our engineering faculty who are investigating fresh approaches to fundamental challenges. His work holds great promise for his field,” said Jianmin Qu, dean of the School of Engineering.

Earlier this year, the NSF recognized three other School of Engineering faculty members, including:

  • Kristen Bethke Wendell, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, who received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest U.S.-sponsored honor given to science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Her five-year, $600,000 award will support a research project that seeks to develop, implement, and assess a model that introduces novice elementary school teachers to community-based engineering design as a strategy for teaching and learning in urban schools.
  • Ayse Asatekin, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering and director of the Smart Polymers, Membranes and Separations Laboratory, who received a five-year $500,000 early career award to build a research and education plan centered on developing novel membranes with new capabilities by designing polymers that self-assemble to form nanostructures.
  • Jeffrey Guasto, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Microscale Mechanics and Transport in Biological Systems Laboratory, who received a five-year $500,000 early career award for his investigation of how material properties of viscous fluids affect the motion of cells.


Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university is widely encouraged.

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