David Kempe, assistant professor of computer science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, is part of an elite national group of junior faculty members who will receive up to $300,000 to fund research under the Office of Naval Research’s Young Investigator Program.
The awards are for up to $100,000 per year for three years and are made based on research proposals and supporting materials, according to the office’s Web site.
The 27 winners were chosen from 208 proposals.
Young Investigators are considered among the best and brightest young academic researchers in the country, the Office of Naval Research said. The awards recognize research achievements, potential for continued outstanding research efforts and strong support, and commitment from their respective universities and research institutions.
Kempe received his award for research on “Game-theoretic Views of Social Networks and Their Interactions,” one of eight grants made in the general area of command, control communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Kempe, who joined USC Viterbi in 2004, last year won the Robert G. and Mary G. Lane Early Career Chair in recognition of “exceptional research contributions.”
He also was a recipient of a 2006 National Science Foundation Early Career Award for his work to model and algorithmically address ways of minimizing or maximizing the spread of network epidemics, such as computer viruses.
He is a recipient of the USC Viterbi School Junior Research Award. Along with computer science colleague Sven Koenig, he organized the USC Programming Contest, an ongoing effort to identify and support student programming talent for competition in collegiate Association for Computing Machinery contests.
Kempe earned his Ph.D. in 2003 from Cornell University and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington before joining USC.