Honors and Awards

Prize Fellowships

Saul Kaplun Fellowship

The Kaplun Fellowship was established by Morris Kaplun in honor of his son, who was a senior research fellow at Caltech. The Fellowship funds graduate research in applied mathematics, the field in which Saul worked devotedly until his untimely passing in 1964.

Year Winner Advisor
2018-2019 Dmitry Burov Oscar Bruno
2016-2017 De Huang Thomas Hou
2015-2016 Agustin Fernandez Lado Oscar Bruno
2014-2015 Emmanuel Garza Gonzales Oscar Bruno
2014-2015 Max Budninskiy Mathieu Desbrun
2013-2014 Albert Chern Peter Schröder
2008-2009 John Bruer Joel Tropp
2007-2008 Patrick Sanan Peter Schröder
2004-2005 Chia-Chieh Chu Thomas Hou
2003-2004 Zhiyi Li Oscar Bruno
2002-2003 Lei Zhang Houman Owhadi
2001-2002 Lixiu Tian Kaushik Bhattacharya
2001-2002 Marco Latini Daniel Meiron
2000-2001 Xinwei Yu Thomas Hou
1999-2000 Razvan Fetecau Jerrold Marsden
1998-1999 Mario Chaubell Oscar Bruno
1998-1999 Andrew Westhead Thomas Hou
1997-1998 Andy Greenberg Oscar Bruno
1996-1997 Eugene Ingerman Herbert Keller
1995-1996 Yalchin Efendiev Thomas Hou
1995-1996 James Gleeson Philip Saffman
1995-1996 Russina Philippakos Gerald Whitham
1994-1995 Hui Si Thomas Hou
1994-1995 Maciej Dudek Joel Franklin
1993-1994 David Haroldsen Daniel Meiron / Thomas Hou
1992-1993 Patrick Lahey Daniel Meiron

Kortschak Scholars Program

The Kortschak Scholars Program was founded in 2017 with the objective of launching a new era of scholarship, inquiry, and innovation in computing and mathematical sciences at Caltech. Caltech trustee and venture capitalist Walter Kortschak (MS ’82), with his wife, Marcia, created the program through a $5 million gift for endowed graduate fellowships.

More information about the Kortschak Scholars Program can be found here.

Year Winner Advisor
2017 Andrea Coladangelo Thomas Vidick
2017 Victor Dorobantu Soon-Jo Chung
2017 Jennifer Sun Aaron Ames

Dissertation Awards

Amori Doctoral Prize in CMS

The Amori Prize was established in 2017 by Michael Amori (MS 2007) to honor outstanding dissertations in the computing and mathematical sciences during the current academic year. Awardees are selected by a committee of computing and mathematical sciences faculty each spring.

Year Winner Advisor
2017 Rachel Cummings Katrina Ligett

W. P. Carey & Co. Prize in Applied Mathematics

The Carey & Co. Prize was established by William P. Carey and W. P. Carey & Co., Inc. The prize and honorarium are awarded to outstanding doctoral dissertations in applied mathematics in the current academic year. Awardees are selected by a committee of applied mathematics faculty.

Year Winner Advisor
2017 Albert Chern Peter Schröder
2017 Pengchuan Zhang Tom Hou
2016 Eldar Akhmetgaliyev Oscar Bruno
2015 Max A. Cubillos-Moraga Oscar Bruno
2014 Faisal Amlani Oscar Bruno
2014 Peyman Tavallali Thomas Hou
2013 Mulin Chang Thomas Hou
2013 Michael McCoy Joel Tropp
2012 Xin Hu Thomas Hou
2012 Stephane Lintner Oscar Bruno
2011 Stephen Becker Emmanuel Candes
2011 Yaniv Plan Emmanuel Candes
2011 Molei Tao Houman Owhadi / Jerrold Marsden
2010 Chia-Chieh (Jay) Chu Thomas Hou
2009 Ari Joshua Stern Jerrold Marsden / Mathieu Desbrun
2008 Hannes Helgason Emmanuel Candes
2008 David Hoch Oscar Bruno
2007 Lei Zhang Houman Owhadi
2006 Laurent Demanet Emmanuel Candes
2006 David Goulet Donald Cohen
2006 Wuan Luo Thomas Hou
2005 Xinwei Yu Thomas Hou
2004 Jay Bartroff Gary Lorden
2003 E. McKay Hyde Oscar Bruno
2003 Razvan Fetecau Jerrold Marsden
2002 Bogdan Craciun Kaushik Bhattacharya
2001 Mayya Tokman Dan Meiron
2001 Gang Hu Thomas Hou
2000 Philip Love Herbert Keller
1999 Yalchin Efendiev Thomas Hou
1999 James P. Gleeson Philip Saffman
1998 No prize awarded -
1997 Alexander Kiselev Barry Simon
1996 No prize awarded -
1995 Slawomir J. Solecki Alexander Kechris
1994 Alexander Lesin Dinakar Ramakrishnan
1992 Ramin Naimi David Gabai
1988 Robert Cox Donald Cohen
1988 Michael J. Ward Donald Cohen
1987 Juan Zufiria Philip Saffman
1985 Michael E. Henderson Herbert Keller
1985 Wiliam Henshaw Heinz-Otto Kreiss
1983 Luis Guillermo M. Reyna Heinz-Otto Kreiss
1982 John Wilson Barker Heinz-Otto Kreiss
1981 William L. Kath Donald Cohen

Ben P.C. Chou Doctoral Prize in IST

The Ben P.C. Chou Doctoral Prize recognizes outstanding doctoral dissertations in the broad area of information science and technology. The Prize was established by his wife, June, and his son, Scott (BS 1986), as a lasting tribute for Ben's lifetime dedication to the pursuit of scholarly research and foregoing personal gain in favor of always doing the right thing for society.

Ben P.C Chou

Professor Pen-chu “Ben” Chou was born in China and suffered a childhood disrupted by a revolutionary war that ultimately took his father. At the age of 13, his mother took him and his two younger sisters to Taiwan as war refugees where she raised the three of them on her own. Prof Chou went on to complete his undergraduate at Tunghai University, his master’s degree at the University of Missouri, and his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma. He spent the bulk of his career doing research and teaching at The Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston and Jilin University in Changchun, China. Prof Chou is noted for his pioneering contributions in developing photoreactivity for thin film superconductors and helping establish OCEF, an international charitable foundation headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Year Winner Advisor
2017 Albert Chern Peter Schröder

UG Academic & Research Awards

Bhansali Family Prize in Computer Science

The Bhansali Family Prize was established in 2001 by Vineer Bhansali (B.S. ’87, M.S. ’87) in memory of his grandfather, Mag Raj Bhansali. The prize and honorarium are awarded to an undergraduate student for outstanding research in computer science in the current academic year. Awardees are selected by a committee of computer science faculty.

Year Winner Advisor
2017 Joon Sik Kim Yisong Yue
2016 Nicholas Schiefer Erik Winfree
2015 Bryan He Yisong Yue
2015 William Hoza Leonard Schulman
2015 Nicholas Schiefer with honorable mention Erik Winfree
2014 Iris Zhengzheng Liu Adam Wierman
2013 EunJee Lee Michelle Effros
2012 No prize awarded
2011 Karthik Sarma Mani Chandy
2010 Isaac Jushiang Chao Peter Schröder
2009 Robert Barish Erik Winfree
2008 Fedor Manin Chris Umans
2007 Siddharth Patel Mani Chandy
2006 Matthew Fisher Mathieu Desbrun
2005 Shaun Lee Erik Winfree
2004 Elliott Karpilovsky Steven Low
2003 Jeffrey Bolz David Wales
2002 Miroslav Dudik Peter Schröder

Henry Ford II Scholar Award

The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to the engineering student with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Year Winner Advisor
2017 Ching-Yun (Chloe) Hsu Chris Umans
2016 Nand Kishore Adam Wierman
2016 Kushal Agarwal Mathieu Desbrun
2015 Taokun Zheng Alan Barr & Adam Wierman
2014 Dae Hyun Kim Adam Wierman
2013 Kevin Chen Alain Martin
2012 Judy Mou Peter Schröder
2012 Michael Hirshleifer Adam Wierman
2011 Ye Lu Chris Umans

Frederick J. Zeigler Memorial Award

The Fredrick J. Zeigler Memorial Award was established in 1989 to honor Fredrick J. Zeigler, a member of the class of 1976 and an applied mathematics major. The award recognizes excellence in scholarship as demonstrated in class activities or in the preparation of an original paper or essay in any subject area within mathematics or applied mathematics.

Year Winner Advisor
2017 Ayya Alieva Houman Owhadi
2016 Celia Zhang Thomas Hou
2014 William Hoza Leonard Schulman

Teaching Awards

Graduate Teaching in CMS Award

The Graduate Teaching in CMS Award was established in 2016 with a gift from Microsoft. The prize and honorarium are awarded to a graduate student for outstanding teaching and course development in computing and mathematical sciences. Awardees are selected by a committee of CMS faculty members.

Year Winner Advisor
2017 Albert Chern Peter Schröder

Undergraduate Teaching in CMS Award

The Undergraduate Teaching in CMS Award was established in 2016 with a gift from Microsoft. The prize and honorarium are awarded to an undergraduate student for outstanding teaching and course development in computing and mathematical sciences. Awardees are selected by a committee of CMS faculty members.

Year Winner Advisor
2017 Chinmay Nirkhe Nets Katz

Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching

The Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching was established in 1993 to honor annually a professor who demonstrates, in the broadest sense, unusual ability, creativity, and innovation in undergraduate and graduate classroom or laboratory teaching.

The Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching is awarded campus-wide and the following CMS professors have been recipients of the award. The full list of recipients can be found here.

Year Winner
2005-2006 Richard Murray, Control and Dynamical Systems
2002-2003 Niles Pierce, Applied and Computational Mathematics
1999-2000 Donald Cohen, Applied Mathematics
1995-1996 Yaser Abu-Mostafa, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

ASCIT Teaching Award

These awards are presented once a year by the Associated Students of the California Institute of Technology (ASCIT) to faculty members and teaching assistants who have been nominated by the students for their ability to inspire and motivate students through teaching.

The ASCIT Teaching Award is awarded campus-wide and the following CMS professors have been recipients of the award. The full list of recipients can be found here.

Year Winner
2016-2017 Adam Wierman
2014-2015 Dan Meiron
2010-2011 Donnie Pinkston
2009-2010 Adam Wierman
2008-2009 Chris Umans
2007-2008 Mani Chandy, Mathieu Desbrun, Joel Tropp
2005-2006 Niles Pierce
2004-2005 Richard Murray
2003-2004 Mani Chandy
2001-2002 John Preskill
2000-2001 Oscar Bruno
1998-1999 Dan Meiron
1997-1998 Don Cohen
1990-1991 Yaser Abu-Mostafa, John Preskill
1989-1990 Joel Burdick
1988-1989 Yaser Abu-Mostafa
1986-1987 Don Cohen
1985-1986 Yaser Abu-Mostafa
1977-1978 Don Cohen