The Siebel Scholars program, an international organization dedicated to supporting top students in bioengineering, business and computer science, has named five Princeton computer science students as 2013 fellowship recipients.

The Siebel Scholars program, founded in 2000 through a gift from the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation, seeks to empower students to solve the world’s most pressing problems through lifelong community and support. Princeton’s computer science department is among 17 in academic departments at 12 universities throughout the United States and China included in the program.

The 2013 group of Siebel Scholars is Mark Browning, Rong Ge, Hanjun Kim, Vladimir Kim and Prakash Prabhu. Each receives $35,000 in support for their final year of study. The Siebel Scholars program also brings together its current and past recipients, currently about 700 since the program’s founding, for an annual conference as well as other networking events.

Mark BrowningMark Browning, a second year M.S.E. student, works with professor Adam Finkelstein on applying non-photorealistic animation and rendering techniques to fluid simulation, with the goal of producing tools that enable animators to incorporate realistic fluid simulations in their work. Before coming to Princeton, he worked for two years at Microsoft as a software developer, contributing to releases of Windows and Windows Live. He received his A.B. in physics from Harvard University, where he was a research assistant at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Rong GeRong Ge, a 5th year graduate student is advised by Professor Sanjeev Arora. Before attending Princeton, Ge earned his bachelor’s degree at Tsinghua University. He is broadly interested in many areas of theoretical computer science, with results including computational complexity analysis of nancial derivatives, new approximation algorithms for graph coloring and community detection in social networks. Recently his research interest is focused on applying tools from theoretical computer science to problems that arise in machine learning. In this area he has designed algorithms with provable guarantees for important problems such as nonnegative matrix factorization and document classification. This summer he is interning with the machine learning group at Microsoft Research New England to further study these problems.

Hanjun KimHanjun Kim is a Ph.D. candidate advised by professor David August. His research focuses on automatic speculative parallelization for distributed memory systems. In particular, he investigates compiler techniques to automatically and speculatively parallelize sequential programs, and builds runtime systems to efficiently execute the parallelized programs on real hardware without any hardware modification. Prior to his Ph.D. studies, he obtained his B.S. in electrical engineering from Seoul National University, and a M.A. in computer science from Princeton. He has interned with Intel and IBM, and was awarded the Intel Ph.D. Fellowship in 2012.

Vladimir KimVladimir Kim, a Ph.D. student, was born and raised in Kyrgyzstan a small country in Central Asia. He moved with his parents to Canada, where he finished high school and joined Simon Fraser University to pursue a joint BA in mathematics and computer science. At Princeton, the main focus of Kim’s graduate research is finding correspondences between 3D shapes. He developed several novel algorithms for inter-surface mapping, including blended conformal maps and diffusion-based framework for establishing fuzzy correspondences in collections of 3D models. He also worked on symmetry-guided texture manipulation, intrinsic symmetry detection, quasi-conformal plane deformations and recognition of shapes in 3D point clouds. He spent the summers of 2011 and 2012 interning at Adobe Systems where he became acquainted with research challenges inspired by the computer graphics industry.

Prakash PrabhuPrakash Prabhu grew up in India and did his undergraduate studies from the National Institute of Technology, followed by a master’s at the Indian Institute of Science. Prior to joining Princeton, Prabhu worked as part of two global teams building industrial-scale software systems at Oracle and Bell Labs. Advised by Professor David August, Prabhu has been working on designing language, compiler, and run-time techniques to enable parallelization of sequential programs with minimal programming effort. He is currently investigating the effectiveness of the techniques he developed by evaluating them on several real-world programs that are actively used by many Princeton scientists in their day-to-day research. Many of these programs are data-intensive, and execute for days and weeks together. Parallelizing them without requiring significant programmer effort will go a long way in accelerating the pace of scientific research at large.

The Siebel Scholars program was created 12 years ago by the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation, a private foundation established in 1996 to support projects and organizations that work to improve the quality of life, environment and education of its community members.