Inside Rensselaer
* Fengyan Li
Abdoun Honored for Earthquake Engineering Research
Fengyan Li, assistant professor of mathematical sciences, has been named a 2008 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow. Li is among a group of 118 fellows from 64 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada who have been recognized for conducting research at the frontiers of physics, chemistry, mathematics, neuroscience, economics, computer science, and computational and evolutionary molecular biology.

“The Sloan Research Fellowships support the work of exceptional young researchers early in their academic careers, and often at pivotal stages in their work,” said Paul L. Joskow, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, in a press release announcing this year’s fellows. “I am proud of the foundation’s rich history in providing the resources and flexibility necessary for young researchers to enhance their scholarship, and I look forward to the future achievements of the 2008 Sloan Research Fellows.” The fellowship is awarded for a two-year period and carries a grant of $50,000.

Li’s research focuses on the design, analysis, and implementation of computer algorithms for solving problems arising in sciences and engineering.

Her current work involves the development of the local-structure-preserving discontinuous Galerkin methods, the design of reliable and efficient methods in computational electromagnetism, as well as the fast algorithms for solving steady-state Hamilton-Jacobi equations. Her research has applications in many areas including weather forecasting, pollution control, energy physics, communication, image processing, and computer vision.

Li, who joined Rensselaer in 2006, received both her B.S. and M.S. in computational mathematics from Peking University, and her Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Brown University. She is currently a member of the Rensselaer Multiscale Science and Engineering Center. Results from Li’s research have been published in the Journal of Computational Physics, SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis, Journal of Scientific Computing, Mathematics of Computation, Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Analysis, and Numerische Mathematik, and they have been presented during numerous national and international conferences.

Since 1955, when the Sloan Foundation began making these awards, 35 Sloan Research Fellows have gone on to win the Nobel Prize and 14 have received the Fields Medal, the top honor in mathematics.

More information on the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation can be found at

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 2, Number 6, April 4, 2008
©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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