Inside Rensselaer
Sanmay Das Receives NSF CAREER Award
Sanmay Das, assistant professor of computer science at Rensselaer, has won a Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Das will use the five-year, $500,000 award to further his research into the dynamics of collective intelligence on the Web.

“We congratulate Dr. Das on this outstanding achievement,” said Acting Dean of Science David Spooner. “In a world where computation and social interactions are now intimately linked, his research is providing new and better ways for people around the World Wide Web to work together and generate fast, reliable, and accurate collective data streams. His research has important implications for the future of social networks as well as e-commerce. We all look forward to seeing his research and career continue to progress at Rensselaer.”

Das’ research seeks to design and improve information systems like prediction markets and wikis that harness the combined wisdom of the crowd via the Internet. When these collective systems work well, they can be a fast way to aggregate and disseminate information. However, much work remains to make these systems more accurate, less prone to malicious users, and easy to create and contribute to. Das will study existing collective intelligence datasets to develop new theories on how the information held by individual users is aggregated. He will also develop algorithms to facilitate user interaction with collective intelligence systems and develop new methods to detect and stop users who try to abuse or disrupt a system.

The CAREER award is given to faculty members at the beginning of their academic careers and is one of the NSF’s most competitive awards, placing emphasis on high-quality research and novel education initiatives.

Das joined Rensselaer in 2007. Prior to Rensselaer, he served as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California San Diego. He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Harvard University and a doctorate in computer science from MIT.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 4, Number 3, February 19, 2010
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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