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Two Computer Science PhD Students Win Prestigious Fellowships

Catacosinos award
Harris Papadopoulous (left) and Sumeet Bajaj

The Catacosinos Fellowship for Excellence in Computer Science, an award given to graduate students who have made a strong contribution in the field of computer science, has been given to two PhD students this year, Sumeet Bajaj and Charilaos (Harris) Papadopoulous. The Graduate School and the Department of Computer Science (CS) at Stony Brook University worked together to carefully select recipients for the Catacosinos Fellowship Award. Along with the honor of being selected, Sumeet and Harris each received $5,000 in funding toward their studies.

This year’s recipients both spent time studying abroad before coming to Stony Brook. Harris earned his BS in Informatics in Athens, Greece, and Sumeet earned his BS in Engineering and Computer Science at the Pune Institute of Computer Technology in India.

The students’ advisors are very proud of the work they’ve accomplished while at Stony Brook. Sumeet’s advisor, Radu Sion, an associate professor of Computer Science, said that Sumeet is an “excellent computer scientist who will continue to be successful in his field for years to come.” Harris’ advisor Arie Kaufman, chair of the CS Department, said that he is “not surprised by Harris’ honor. Harris utilizes and takes advantage of every opportunity here at Stony Brook to further his education.”

The Catacosinos family, by whom the fellowship was established, originally provided the CS Department with an endowment in 1978. The family’s support has had a lasting impact on the University. Beyond the fellowship, two additional endowed funds established by the Catacosinos family have supported cancer research and strategic initiatives by the President. In 2014, Richard Z. Lin, MD, from the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, received a Catacosinos Translational Researcher Award for his work on pancreatic cancer, and the College of Business has received vital funds toward a new laboratory for its students.

In previous years, the Catacosinos Fellowship has also been given to very high-achieving individuals in Computer Science. A current associate professor of Computer Science at Stony Brook, C.R. Ramakrishan, received the Catacosinos Fellowship for Excellence in Computer Science in 1993 while working toward his PhD at Stony Brook. In 2010, the award was given to Jean Honorio and Tingbo Hou. Tingbo is now a Software Engineer for Google in San Francisco, and Jean is doing his postdoctoral studies at MIT in Machine Learning.

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