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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

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Three faculty members receive Sloan fellowships

The Alfred Sloan Foundation has awarded unrestricted research grants to three Princeton faculty members.

Computer scientist Amit Sahai, economist Robert Shimer and chemist Suzanne Walker each have been named Sloan Foundation research fellows and will receive $40,000 in funding over two years.

They are among 104 recipients of the annual awards, which are given in the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry, neuroscience, computer science and economics.

Sahai, assistant professor of computer science, is conducting theoretical research in the field of cryptography, which is used to protect the privacy of electronic communications. He is particularly interested in the effects of using many cryptographic techniques in the same system. He said that interference between different cryptographic schemes can open windows for intrusion, and his research is aimed at fixing such problems.

Shimer, associate professor of economics, studies labor markets. He is developing theoretical frameworks for understanding heterogeneity in job markets, including issues such as the compromises that employees make in taking jobs that do not match their qualifications. He also is studying the role of temporary employment and whether such jobs help or hinder people from finding permanent jobs that suit them well.

Walker, associate professor of chemistry, plans to study a chemical process called glycosylation, which is what happens inside a cell when enzymes attach small sugar molecules to large proteins. These sugar trimmings often change the way proteins function, but little is known about how it happens and why, said Walker. She will study a particular enzyme, called glycosyltranferase, which is responsible for attaching the sugar molecules.

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601

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