Sigma Xi Awards

The Graduate College and the IIT Chapter of Sigma Xi are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2012 Sigma Xi Research Awards. These awards recognize exemplary accomplishments in research, scholarship, and creative activity by IIT faculty members and graduate students. The awards will be presented at the Sigma Xi Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, May 9 in the Pritzker Club.

The 2012 Sigma Xi recipients are:

Senior Faculty Division
Boris Pervan
Mechanical, Materials & Aerospace Engineering Department

Boris Pervan received a Ph.D. degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University in 1996. Following his Ph.D. degree, he was a post-doctoral research associate from 1996-1999 at the Hansen Experimental Physicals Laboratory in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics of Stanford University. Prior to his graduate studies, from 1987 to 1990, Pervan worked in the Space and Communications Group of Hughes Aircraft Company. He joined the MMAE Department in the fall of 1999 as an assistant professor on tenure-track. He was tenured and promoted to the rank of associate professor and professor in the fall of 2005 and 2010, respectively.

Pervan is an internationally recognized leader in the field of navigation. His specific area research is terrestrial vehicle systems, centered on modern satellite navigation systems, including GPS, differential GPS (DGPS), and Galileo. This is evident from being the editor of Navigation Journal since 2006 and receiving several awards such as the prestigious Parkinson Award from the Institute of Navigation in 2009. He has been extremely successful in having his proposals funded and his research support as principal investigator at IIT has a strong funding level, which enables him to support a large number of graduate students.

Pervan’s journal publications are not only strong but concentrated in the most prominent journals such as: Navigation; IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic System; and International Journal of Vehicle Design. Most of his journal publications at IIT have been co-authored by his graduate students, showing his commitment toward effective supervision of his graduate students. Pervan has also published a chapter in the book entitled, “The Global Positioning System-Theory and Application.”

Pervan is not only a excellent researcher but superb teacher as well. In 2002 and 2009, Pervan received the MMAE Department Ralph Barnett Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2005 he received IIT’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

Junior Faculty Division
Kui Ren
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Kui Ren received a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2007. He joined the IIT Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2007 as an assistant professor.

Ren has made important research contributions to both the fields of Cloud computing security and Wireless security. Ren has been the first few that sharply identified the criticalness of cloud computing security. Particularly, his research has helped solve data service outsourcing security, including the fundamental services such as data storage, data sharing, and data access control, which is essential to the successful deployment of the public cloud. Ren also tackled the problem of secure computation outsourcing and came up with a suite of practically meaningful solutions. His research on cloud computing has won him the prestigious NSF CAREER Award and has been internationally recognized as evidenced by his invited talks (>20) at universities worldwide, conferences, national labs, and funding agency meetings in the past couple of years.

Ren also contributed significantly to the advances of wireless security research. Ren has done remarkable research in addressing anti-jamming attacks in wireless networks. He introduced the online learning approach into the solution domain and developed, for the first time, a quantitative approach for delay performance evaluation and characterization under various adversarial environments. His research received the Best Paper Award from the prestigious IEEE ICNP 2011. Ren also significantly improved the-state-of-the-art on wireless key establishment. His new approach improves the system performance by orders of magnitude.

To date, Ren has secured over $1.1 million in research funding as a principal investigator from a variety of sources including the National Science Foundation, Air Force Research Laboratory, and Amazon. Ren has authored or co-authored 32 journal papers, 5 magazine papers, 7 book chapters, and more than 50 conference papers. His work has been cited an impressive 1,550 times, and his H-Index is 20, according to Google Scholar. Ren serves as an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, the IEEE Wireless Communications and the Journal of Communications and Networks. He is also a board member of Internet Privacy Task Force of Illinois appointed by the governor.

Ren has been very active in promoting graduate and undergraduate research and has successfully established the first security research lab at IIT. He is presently mentoring six Ph.D. candidates with two of them graduating this year. Additionally, more than 25 master students and undergraduate students have performed research in his lab.

Student Division
Qi Ye
Applied Mathematics Department

Qi Ye will receive a Ph.D. in applied mathematics in May 2012. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees, both in mathematical science, from South China Normal University.

Ye joined the research seminar on kernel-based and other numerical methods for high-dimensional approximation problems. At the end of that first year he was making good progress on developing a rigorous connection between Green’s functions of certain differential (and now also much more general distributional) operators and positive definite reproducing kernels. From that time on Ye has developed into one of the strongest Ph.D. students in the program.

During his time at IIT, Ye has written several papers, presented a talks and presentations as well as participated in numerous symposiums all over the world. Ye is the president of IIT’s SIAM Chapter and was the first student to organize a research conference by students for students in the Chicago area. He frequently interacts with graduate as well as undergraduate students through his TA duties and during summer REUs.