Astronomer and Psychologist Awarded Sloan Fellowships

Two faculty members of The University of Texas at Austin have been named recipients of Sloan Research Fellowships for 2011.

Jenny Greene, assistant professor of astronomy, and Jonathan Pillow, assistant professor of psychology and neurobiology, will each receive $50,000 over two years to be used on research of their choice.

Greene studies supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies. Using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, she helped demonstrate that such black holes can be found at the center of much smaller galaxies than had been previously suspected. As part of the Extragalactic Group in the Department of Astronomy, Greene is also studying black holes in megamaser, big elliptical and dual active galaxies.

Pillow focuses his research on computational neuroscience, machine learning and human visual perception. In his Neural Coding and Computation Lab, he conducts experiments examining the complex processes the brain uses to encode visual information.

Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded every year by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. Past recipients of Sloan Research Fellowships have gone on to win 38 Nobel prizes, 14 Fields Medals (mathematics), and eight John Bates Clark awards (economics).