Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- February 20, 2006
Cal Poly Names Two Research Scholars for New Program
Cal Poly has named two Research Scholars in Residence as the first appointees
in a new university program designed to encourage and support faculty research
and professional development.
USC Professor Emeritus George Bekey and Georgia Institute of Technology
Professor Emeritus Theodore Hill will assist Cal Poly faculty and staff with
research, project development, grant-writing, scholarly publications and
interdisciplinary concept development. They will also serve as mentors for
students in the University Honors Program and help integrate the Honors
Program into research projects.
Bekey, a computer scientist, and Hill, a mathematician, were selected in
part because of their extensive backgrounds in research and their experience
in attracting funding from federal agencies.
Bekey served as associate dean for research in USC's School of Engineering
from 1995 to 2000 and as chair of that campus's Computer Science Department
from 1984 to 1989. He has more than 35 years of research funding from such
agencies as the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National
Institutes of Health.
His primary research emphasis for the past 20 years has been in the field
of robotics, including work on walking machines, human-like hands for robots,
and the development of robot helicopters. He has published more than 200
technical papers and several books, including a major book on robotics.
Hill has spent the past three decades studying and conducting research in
the mathematical theory of probability and Benford's law, which deals with
an unexpected phenomenon in numerical data that is now being used by the
IRS and other agencies to detect fraud.
Hill's numerous research awards including funding from such federal
agencies as the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Fulbright
Commission, and the National Science Foundation. He is currently working
on a National Security Agency research grant through Cal Poly. He has been
granted two Fulbright awards, an Israel-U.S. Bi-national Science Foundation
Grant, a NATO/NSF grant to the Netherlands and has taught and conducted
research in Israel, Italy, Mexico, Costa Rica and Amsterdam.
"The new Research Scholars in Residence program will not only enrich
the academic and scholastic environment at Cal Poly, it will also attract
research grant funding and provide an environment that promotes interaction
among scholars regardless of their disciplines," said Cal Poly Interim
Provost Robert Detweiler.
Another component of the program will be the development of cross-disciplinary
projects, which will provide a great variety of research challenges. "The
most interesting problems are found on the boundaries between disciplines,"
The Kennedy Library and the University Honors Program developed the
Research Scholars in Residence program to foster "collaborative intellectual
communities of people who have the expertise and experience, as well as the
time, to devote to scholarly pursuits," according to Dean of Library Services
Hiram Davis. "The program reflects a national trend to enrich the academic
and scholastic environment while focusing on attracting distinguished
scholars," he said.
The program is also expected to expand Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo County
outreach and service activities related to research and professional
development and result in enriched intellectual and cultural activities
for the campus and community.
For more information about the Research Scholars in Residence Program,
or contact Mary Somerville, assistant dean for information and instructional
services at Kennedy Library, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 756-1398.