Two Princeton researchers receive highest government award for science

David Blei and Michael Freedman

David Blei and Michael Freedman

Two Princeton professors have received the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers.

David Blei and Michael Freedman, both in the Department of Computer Science, were honored by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy based on the recommendations of federal departments and agencies.

Blei, an associate professor of computer science, wasnominated by the U.S. Department of Defense for his work to create methods for computers to analyze huge collections of documents to find themes hidden within them. Freedman, an assistant professor of computer science, was nominated by the National Science Foundation for creating distributed systems that handle the scale, dynamism and critical importance of our emerging computing infrastructure.

The annual award, established in 1996, is given to professionalsin recognition of “innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach,” according to the White House.