Olga Russakovsky and Jonathan Mayer recipients of SEAS's Junior Faculty Award
The School of Engineering and Applied Science has recognized six assistant professors for outstanding teaching and research. Each recipient of the 2021 junior faculty award will receive $50,000 to support their work.
Howard B. Wentz, Jr. Junior Faculty Award
An assistant professor of computer science, Russakovsky works at the intersection of computer vision, machine learning and human-computer interaction. She has been widely recognized for contributions to the development of artificial intelligence systems to further computer vision. In 2017, MIT Technology Review named Russakovky to its “35 under 35” list of innovators based on her work on ImageNet, a database of over 14 million images used for developing computer vision. Russakovsky is also a leader in efforts to broaden participation in computer science and technology. She was the co-founder of the AI4ALL Foundation, an organization that seeks to increase diversity and inclusion in computer science through education and teaching, and is now co-director of the Princeton AI4ALL program. She was named to Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2015. Russakovsky is the recipient of the University’s 2021 Phi Beta Kappa award for excellence in undergraduate teaching. “Olga is 'the whole package' — a wonderful scholar, educator, technologist, mentor and leader,” Jennifer Rexford, the computer science chair, said in nominating Russakovsky for the teaching award. “And, she rolls up her sleeves to make the world around her a better place, for her field, for her department and for society in general.”
Alfred Rheinstein Junior Faculty Award
An assistant professor of computer science and public policy, Mayer researches information technology policy. Joining the Princeton faculty after serving as a staff member for then-U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, Mayer established himself as a leader in understanding and combatting disinformation. Building on the key insight that the disinformation problem shares many characteristics of problems with information security, Mayer has worked to translate successful information security strategies as counters to disinformation. He has developed new approaches to detect disinformation and demonstrated that well-designed warnings are more effective at warning consumers and guiding behavior than the warnings typically deployed in social media. Along with Andrew Guess, an assistant professor of politics, he is building a reference dataset of news and disinformation websites. To address the difficulty of researching user behavior, Mayer is working with the Mozilla Foundation on the Rally research platform. His first effort using the platform studied how users engaged with political and COVID-19 disinformation across major platforms. “Jonathan has a knack for picking research problems with a profound influence on society, and tackling them with a unique blend of techniques from information security, internet measurement and social science,” Jennifer Rexford, the computer science chair, said in nominating Mayer for the award.