Five Princeton faculty receive prestigious early-career Sloan Research Fellowships

Ellora Derenoncourt, Boris Hanin, Chi Jin, Aleksandra Korolova, and Ian Zemke

Princeton faculty members Ellora Derenoncourt, Boris Hanin, Chi Jin, Aleksandra Korolova and Ian Zemke are among 126 highly innovative early-career scientists awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced Tuesday.

"Sloan Research Fellowships are extraordinarily competitive awards involving the nominations of the most inventive and impactful early-career scientists across the U.S. and Canada,” said Adam F. Falk, president of the foundation. “We look forward to seeing how fellows take leading roles shaping the research agenda within their respective fields.”

“These new Sloan fellows are outstanding scholars who exemplify the vibrant environment of intellectual curiosity that characterizes Princeton as a research university,” said Peter Schiffer, Princeton University’s dean for research and a professor of physics. “The Sloan Foundation’s support for early-career researchers is especially valuable in encouraging their research efforts, all of which have the potential for foundational benefits for humanity.”

The five new Princeton fellows bring to 248 the number of University faculty members who have received a Sloan Research Fellowship since they were first awarded in 1955. So far, 57 Sloan fellows have received the Nobel Prize, including famed Princeton mathematician and game theory expert John Nash.

The Sloan fellowships are open to scholars in chemistry, computer science, Earth system science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience and physics.

The new Princeton fellows and their award categories from the Sloan Foundation announcement are:

  • In economics, Ellora Derenoncourt, assistant professor of economics and the Industrial Relations Section and director of the Program for Research on Inequality, works on labor economics, economic history and the study of inequality. Prior to Princeton, she was an assistant professor of economics and public policy at the University of California-Berkeley. She earned her Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University, a master’s of science in human geography research at the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree at Harvard.
  • In mathematics, Boris Hanin, assistant professor of operations research and financial engineering, whose work is on deep learning, probability and spectral asymptotics. Prior to Princeton, he was an assistant professor in mathematics at Texas A&M University. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in math at Stanford University.
  • In computer science, Chi Jin, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, who explores machine learning theory, statistics, optimization and game theory. He obtained a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of California-Berkeley and a bachelor of science degree in physics from Peking University. He previously held an internship at Microsoft Research.
  • In computer science, Aleksandra Korolova, assistant professor of computer science and public affairs, whose research interests are the societal impacts of algorithms and machine learning; privacy; algorithmic fairness and auditing. Before Princeton, she was a professor of computer science at the University of Southern California and worked at Snap Inc. and Google. She earned her Ph.D. in computer science at Stanford, and a bachelor of science degree in mathematics with computer science at MIT.
  • In mathematics, Ian Zemke, assistant professor of mathematics, whose research interests include Floer homology, cobordism and knot theory. He has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California-Los Angeles and a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Washington.

The announcement notes that Sloan award candidates are nominated by fellow scientists. Panels of senior scholars choose the winners of the two-year, $75,000 fellowships based on “research accomplishments, creativity and potential to become a leader in their field.”

Information from a news release issued by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation was used in this article. The release and full list of 2024 recipients are online at the fellowship website.