Popular Science Chooses Carnegie Mellon's Platzer For 2009 "Brilliant 10" List of Young Scientists

PITTSBURGH—Andre Platzer, assistant professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, is one of 10 young scientists and researchers chosen by the editors of Popular Science for the magazine's annual "Brilliant 10" list.

Platzer, 30, who the magazine dubbed the "Crash Test Anti-Dummy," was cited for his work on verification software for hybrid, or cyber-physical, systems, such as collision avoidance systems in flight control and railway control systems. Systems with embedded computers that interact with an ever-changing real world will become increasingly common for such applications as robotic surgery devices, adaptive cruise controls in automobiles and nano-level manufacturing equipment.

"Ensuring correct functioning of complex physical systems is among the most challenging and most important problems in computer science," Platzer said.

Like seatbelts, antibiotics and fire hoses, the method for detecting potentially critical errors in safety systems that Platzer has developed is an innovation so vital "that it's hard to imagine how we got along without it," said a profile of Platzer that appears in the November issue of the magazine.

Platzer is among the researchers participating in the new Institute for Computational Modeling and Analysis of Complex Systems, which is developing new tools for analyzing models of complex embedded computer systems, as well as biological systems. The institute, based at Carnegie Mellon and headed by University Professor of Computer Science Edmund M. Clarke, was established this year as part of a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Platzer earned a master's degree in computer science at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, in 2004. He earned a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Oldenburg, Germany, and joined the faculty of Carnegie Mellon's Computer Science Department in 2008.

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Byron Spice | 412-268-9068 | bspice@cs.cmu.edu