Two NYU Tandon professors are honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Martín Farach-Colton and Zhong-Ping Jiang are in the newest class of AAAS Fellows

Martín Farach Colton on the left and Zhong-Ping Jiang on the right

Martín Farach Colton (left) and Zhong-Ping Jiang 

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals. In a tradition stretching back to 1874, the AAAS Council elects as Fellows an august cadre of scientists, engineers, and innovators who have been recognized for their achievements across disciplines. Fellowship in the organization is considered to be one of the most prestigious honors within the scientific community.

This year’s Fellows are at the forefront of discussions about emerging technologies, semiconductor production, environmental issues, science education, innovative therapies, and more as the world grapples with societal concerns around these topics. 

Two NYU Tandon professors are among them.

Martín Farach-Colton

Leonard J. Shustek Professor of Computer Science Martín Farach-Colton, who chairs Tandon’s  Department of Computer Science and Engineering, was cited by the organization for “distinguished contributions to the theory of data structures and their use in computer systems.”

His areas of expertise include big data algorithmics, storage systems, data structures, and streaming algorithms. He was the winner of the inaugural Simon Imre Test of Time Award at the 2012 Latin American Symposium on Theoretical Informatics, for a paper detailing a simple algorithm for the Least Common Ancestor problem, and his most recent peer-reviewed works involve addressing the shortcomings of translation lookaside buffers (TLBs), a type of memory cache — research that won him a distinguished paper award at the ACM International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS); giving the fastest key-value store for persistent memory systems, which is a new type of RAM; and devising a hash table that simultaneously offers the strongest known guarantees on a large number of core properties; among other projects. He recently received widespread attention for the journal article, “On the Optimal Time/Space Tradeoff for HashTables,” which represented an unimpeachable new standard for hash table efficiency and helped solve a long-standing computer-science open problem. 

Farach-Colton has received an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and is a Fellow of the ACM, IEEE, and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, each of which has recognized his contributions to data structures and storage systems; he also has the distinction of being an elected member of Argentina’s Academia Nacional de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales (National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences).

Zhong-Ping Jiang

Zhong-Ping Jiang, professor of electrical and computer engineering, affiliate professor of civil and urban engineering, and director of Tandon’s Control and Network (CAN) Lab, was cited for his “seminal contributions to nonlinear small-gain theory and to constructive nonlinear control design for mechanical, information, and biological systems.”

Jiang — who is also an affiliated member of Tandon’s Center for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications (CATT) and Connected Communities for Smart Mobility towards Accessible and Resilient Transportation for Equitably Reducing Congestion (C2SMARTER)  — has a vast body of work which focuses on interdisciplinary problems at the interface of control and learning for network systems, with applications to multi-agent systems, connected and autonomous vehicles, robotic networks, and cyber-physical systems. 

A selection of his recent work includes: studying how the nervous system works under uncertain conditions and developing robust adaptive dynamic programming as a theory of human sensorimotor learning and control; developing safe and robust automated lane-changing technology; constructing an AI-based closed-loop coordinated signal control system for multiple intersections, along with routing strategies for the smooth distribution of traffic flows — a complex undertaking since traffic flow systems are dynamic and nonlinear, and subject to randomness; and creating resilient next-generation wireless networks that will enable secure, robust, and high-performance applications in many increasingly critical domains, including education, business, transportation, and healthcare.

This year he was also elected to the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and his other honors include Membership in  the Academia Europaea (Academy of Europe) and Fellowships in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the International Federation of Automatic Control, and Asia-Pacific Artificial Intelligence Association, as well as numerous best-paper prizes.

“This year’s class embodies scientific excellence, fosters trust in science throughout the communities they serve, and leads the next generation of scientists while advancing scientific achievements,” said Sudip S. Parikh, Ph.D., AAAS chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Science family of journals.”

“I’m thrilled to see Martín Farach-Colton and Zhong-Ping Jiang receive richly deserved recognition from an august organization like the American Association for the Advancement of Science,” said Jelena Kovačević, Dean of NYU Tandon. “It seems especially auspicious that this honor comes at a time when both NYU Tandon and the AAAS are celebrating major milestones: it’s been 170 years since the foundation was laid for our school and 150 years since the launch of the organization’s fellowship program, and I’m confident that both of our institutions will continue to stand as exemplars of scientific discovery thanks to researchers like Martín and Zhong-Ping.”

NYU Tandon faculty who are past recipients of AAAS Fellowships include David Pine, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, who was elected an AAAS Fellow in 2000; Jin Kim Montclare, a professor in the same department, who received the AAAS Leshner Fellowship in 2019; and Juliana Freire, professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and director of Tandon’s Visualization Imaging and Data Analysis Center (VIDA), who was a member of the 2022 class of Fellows. 

Farach-Colton, Jiang, and the other new Fellows will be honored at the organization’s annual forum, which will be held on September 21, 2024, in Washington, D.C. That event will be followed by a gala celebrating the 150th anniversary of the AAAS Fellows program.