Four young UCLA professors are among 128 scientists and scholars from 58 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada selected today to receive 2021 Sloan Research Fellowships.

“A Sloan Research Fellow is a rising star, plain and simple” said Adam Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “To receive a fellowship is to be told by the scientific community that your achievements as a young scholar are already driving the research frontier.”

UCLA’s 2021 recipients are:

Kai-Wei Chang
Chang, an assistant professor of computer science at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, conducts research broadly in artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing. With the exponential growth of text data available in various domains, language-processing techniques have been incorporated into many real-world applications used by billions around the world. Chang’s research group develops fundamental statistical approaches to enhancing the efficiency, robustness, inclusion and fairness of human language–processing technology. His research tackles problems of major technical and social relevance.

Pavel Galashin
Galashin, an assistant professor of mathematics, conducts research in algebraic combinatorics. He is particularly interested in its unexpected applications to other areas of math and physics, such as magnetism, knot theory and the physics of scattering amplitudes. He earned his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and recently received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

Ravi Netravali
Netravali, an assistant professor of computer science at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, conducts research broadly in computer systems and networking. His recent focus has been on building practical systems to improve the performance and debugging of large-scale, distributed applications for both end users and developers. His research has been recognized with a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a Google Faculty Research Award, an Association for Computing Machinery Symposium on Cloud Computing Best Paper Award and an Internet Research Task Force Applied Networking Research Prize.

Harold Pimentel
Pimentel, an assistant professor of computational medicine and human genetics in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA — the department of computational medicine is also affiliated with the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering — and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Hanna H. Gray Fellow, conducts research on gene regulation by building broadly applicable computational tools. His laboratory develops data-driven models using computer science and high-dimensional statistics to advance biomedical discovery.

Winners of Sloan Research Fellowships receive a two-year, $75,000 award to support their research. The fellowships are intended to enhance the careers of exceptional young scientists and scholars in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, earth science and physics. The philanthropic, New York–based foundation was established in 1934.

Fifty-one Sloan Research Fellows have won Nobel Prizes, including Andrea Ghez, UCLA’s Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine Professor of Astrophysics, in 2020, and 17 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics.