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FIRST awards recognize engineering faculty

By Tim Stephens

The Jack Baskin School of Engineering has honored three faculty members with FIRST Professor Awards in recognition of their achievements in research, teaching, and service. Ali Shakouri, associate professor of electrical engineering, received the Senior FIRST Professor Award. Junior FIRST Professor Awards went to Herbert Lee, assistant professor of applied mathematics and statistics, and James Whitehead, assistant professor of computer science.

Ali Shakouri, one of three recipients of this year's FIRST faculty awards
UCSC Photo Services

Engineering dean Steve Kang established the FIRST Awards to recognize faculty who are role models for achieving the goals he has expressed as "Frontier Impacting through excellence in Research, Service, and Teaching" (FIRST). The Senior FIRST Professor receives $10,000 per year in discretionary funds for two years, and each of the two Junior FIRST Professors receive $2,500 per year for two years.

Nominees for the awards were submitted by each department and reviewed by a selection committee composed of all the department chairs in the engineering school. Ira Pohl, professor of computer science and chair of the selection committee, said the Junior award was divided between Lee and Whitehead because they were both considered extremely worthy of recognition.

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