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Research in the Department

The faculty at NIU are leaders in their fields, and bring this expertise to ensure that the learning in our classrooms is top-notch and up-to-date. While it is in our graduate program that students are usually expected to participate in research, undergraduate students benefit from the research and graduate programs too!

We are especially proud of the recognition achieved by some of our most active researchers. Professors Anthony Zettl, Jindrich Necas, Biswa Datta, Frederick Bloom, and Martin Lorenz of our department have all been recognized as Presidential Research Professors, a university-wide award for particular excellence.

Professor Biswa Nath Datta selected for prestigious Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award

Biswa Nath Datta, a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at NIU, begins one of the Fulbright Scholar Program's most distinguished appointments this month.

Datta received the 2015 Fulbright-Nehru Distinguished Chair Award to teach graduate students at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur (IIT-KGP), India. Additionally, during the four-month appointment, he will travel to prominent higher education institutions throughout the country to give guest lectures and take part in symposia and conferences.

Run by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Program awards about 8,000 grants each year to graduate students, university faculty and researchers worldwide. But the program gives out only about 40 Distinguished Chair Awards to eminent scholars with significant publication and teaching records.

Datta's research seeks out solutions to real-life control-and-vibration engineering design and analysis. His mathematical and computational techniques aim to improve performance and design safety in autos, aircraft, bridges, buildings and highways.

In India, Datta's Fulbright award will be administered by United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF), which will coordinate lectures on his current interdisciplinary research, "Computational and Optimization Methods for Inverse Quadratic Eigenvalue Problems in Active Vibration Control and Finite Element Model Updating."

Locations for his lectures will include IIT-Delhi, IIT-Madras, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Gujarat, IIT- Guwahati, the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata.

Professor Datta had previously received two Senior Fulbright Specialists Awards to visit and deliver lectures on his research at National University of Mongolia and several universities in Egypt.

Strongly-prepared undergraduate students are encouraged to become involved in research and advanced-study programs at NIU and off-campus. There are many of these specifically targetted at undergraduate students, including programs at national laboratories (Argonne, Fermi, etc.) and programs sponsored by the National Science Foundation (REU -- Research Experiences for Undergraduates -- programs). For more information, contact an advisor within the department.

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Last modified: 10/02/2015 (djg)