Graduate Student Boris Sofman Receives Inaugural Sandia Labs/Carnegie Mellon Fellowship

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Officials from Sandia National Laboratories joined SCS Dean Randal E. Bryant on Wednesday to name Boris Sofman, a second-year graduate student in the Robotics Institute, as the first Sandia National Laboratories/Carnegie Mellon University Excellence in Computing Fellow.

"Boris Sofman is an excellent choice for this honor," said Matthew T. Mason, director of the Robotics Institute. "Boris's work on robot navigation using machine learning techniques just won a prestigious best student paper prize" at the Robotics: Science and Systems conference. Sofman received his bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering and computer science at Carnegie Mellon in 2005.

The new fellowship is part of a Sandia initiative to encourage innovation in multi-disciplinary research by supporting outstanding doctoral candidates in science and engineering at major U.S. universities.

"These fellowships are integral to developing the talent necessary to maintain our excellence in research and leadership in science, engineering and technology, not only for the Labs, but for the U.S. as well," said Steve Roehrig, Sandia Director of Intelligent Systems & Robotics and the campus executive assigned to Carnegie Mellon.

Juan Abeyta, spokesman for Sandia's University Partnerships, said the fellowship will strengthen the strategic partnership between the Labs and Carnegie Mellon. In addition to over a half million dollars in research contracts with Carnegie Mellon, Sandia currently supports three additional master's fellows, employs 50 graduates, five summer interns, and two post-doctoral fellows.

"The Sandia fellowship builds on a long productive relationship between Carnegie Mellon and Sandia, and it is a great benefit to our research and educational efforts," Mason said.

Sandia National Laboratories is one of the largest federal laboratories in the United States. With major laboratory locations in New Mexico and northern California, Sandia employs over 10,000 regular employees, post-docs, long-term visitors and contractors. Sandia projects to hire 300 new technical employees per year over the next four years. Major programs at Sandia involve basic and applied research in physical sciences, biology, and information science, as well as engineering program in defense, energy, and environment. For the past decade Sandia has built a significant portfolio of activities in homeland defense, including intelligence technologies, hardening of buildings and key public assets, cybersecurity, and multi-spectrum sensor technologies.

Byron Spice | 412-268-9068 |