Campus: San Francisco State University -- March 25, 2005

SFSU Computer Scientist Awarded NSF CAREER Grant

Ed Lank Plans To Make Stylus And Screen As Easy To Use As Pen To Paper

Edward Lank, assistant professor of computer science at San Francisco State University, has received the prestigious CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation. The award recognizes and supports the early career development activities of teachers and scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. This is the second CAREER grant awarded to SFSU faculty in two years. To date, Lank is only the second computer scientist in the California State University system to receive this award.

Lank's research and teaching is dedicated to improving the usability of computers, particularly pen computing, the process of entering information in a computer with a stylus applied to a screen.

Right now, Lank admits, "pen computing is a lot like trying to record information on a computer with a mouse and no keyboard. I believe that we can make the pen to screen application as fluid as pen to paper."

Practical use of this technology includes medical record keeping, illustration and the processing of fieldwork for a variety of professional occupations. Lank plans to put the $430,000 CAREER grant toward equipment and support of graduate and postgraduate student researchers.

"Ed Lank excels at getting SFSU students involved in research," says Sheldon Axler, dean of SFSU's College of Science and Engineering. "What he does reflects this university's emphasis on strong, collaborative research."

Last year, Eric Hsu, an assistant professor of mathematics at SFSU received a CAREER grant for his efforts to build online communities of math teachers to help improve how algebra is taught in high school.

Contact: Denize Springer, 415/405-3803; 415/338-1665,

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