Four Columbia Scientists Named 2021 Sloan Research Fellows

Ana Asenjo-Garcia, Jacqueline Austermann, Samory Kpotufe, and Jesse Schreger are early-career scholars considered rising stars in their fields, which include quantum physics, environmental science, statistics, and economics.

February 16, 2021

Four young Columbia faculty members have been awarded 2021 Sloan Research Fellowships, coveted grants for scientists and scholars at the beginning of their academic careers.

The fellowships honor early-career scholars whose achievements mark them as the next generation of scientific leaders. Since the first Sloan Research Fellowships were awarded in 1955, 172 faculty from Columbia University have received a Sloan Research Fellowship. 

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s 2021 class of fellows include 128 scientists and scholars from more than 58 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Winners receive a $75,000 fellowship to further their research.

Ana Asenjo-Garcia: head shot of young woman with long brown hair and white shirt

Ana Asenjo-Garciaan assistant professor of physics, investigates problems in theoretical quantum optics and its intersection with quantum information and condensed-matter physics. A significant part of the research in her group focuses on emergent phenomena that arises from photon-mediated atomic interactions. She aims to understand the out-of-equilibrium behavior of strongly interacting atoms and photons and to develop novel applications for quantum information processing, sensing, and metrology.

Jacqueline Austermann: A headshot of a woman with glasses

Jacqueline Austermann is an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and part of the seismology, geology, and tectonophysics division of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. She works on documenting and modeling changes in sea level on timescales of hundreds, thousands, and millions of years. The aim of her work is to improve our understanding of the stability of ice sheets and the magnitude of sea-level rise projected for the future. 

Samory Kpotufe: Head shot of a man with black shirt and green background

Samory Kpotufe is an associate professor in the Department of Statistics whose research focuses on statistical machine learning, an area that merges statistical and computational aspects of machine learning. As machine learning algorithms make inroads into diverse fields such as medicine, biology, or computer networking, his work helps explain the performance of these algorithms under the many computational and statistical constraints arising in these modern applications. 

Jesse Schreger: A headshot of a man wearing glasses and a suit

Jesse Schreger is the Class of 1967 Associate Professor of Business in the Economics Division at Columbia Business School. His research is primarily in international finance and macroeconomics, focusing on capital flows, sovereign debt, and exchange rates. His recent work uses micro-data on investor security holdings to understand the role of tax havens and currency preferences in driving global capital allocation. 

Sloan Research Fellowships are available to scholars in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics. Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists, and winning fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars in their field on the basis of the nominee’s research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in the field.