New York University physicist recognized for work on quantum dynamics and machine learning

NYU Physics Professor Dries Sels
NYU Physics Professor Dries Sels

New York University physicist Dries Sels, whose work centers on quantum dynamics and machine learning, has been awarded a fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars “whose creativity, innovation, and research accomplishments make them stand out as the next generation of leaders,” the Sloan Foundation said in announcing this year’s 126 fellows.

A full list of the 2023 Fellows is available at the Sloan Foundation website.

“Sloan Research Fellows are shining examples of innovative and impactful research,” says Adam F. Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “We are thrilled to support their groundbreaking work and we look forward to following their continued success.”

Sels’ research is focused on quantum information science, with applications to efficiently solve problems that are either time-consuming or impossible to calculate with a classical digital computer. He is also an expert in optimal quantum control, which aims to quickly and accurately generate multi-particle quantum states. Sels’ future work will encompass the intersection of quantum simulation, machine learning, and optimal quantum control, exploring whether a quantum computer can be used to speed up modeling statistical processes and examining whether quantum systems can be used to increase the speed of widely used numerical methods in statistical physics.

Since the first Sloan Research Fellowships were awarded in 1955, 83 faculty from NYU have received a Sloan Research Fellowship. 

Overall, 56 Sloan fellows have received a Nobel Prize in their respective fields, 17 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics, 69 have received the National Medal of Science, and 22 have won the John Bates Clark Medal in economics, including every winner since 2007. A database of former Sloan Research Fellows can be found on the foundation’s website

Fellows receive $75,000, over a two-year period, to further their research.

Founded in 1831, NYU is one of the world’s foremost research universities and is a member of the selective Association of American Universities. NYU has degree-granting campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai, and has eleven other global academic sites around the world. Through its numerous schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and performing arts, music and studio arts, public administration, engineering, social work, cities, global public health, big data, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics.  


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