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Clarkson University Senior Matthew Parno of Greenfield, N.Y., Receives Levinus Clarkson Award

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Potsdam, N.Y. -- Graduating senior Matthew D. Parno of Greenfield, N.Y., was awarded the Levinus Clarkson Award during Clarkson University’s 116th commencement ceremony today. He was selected for the $1,000 award by a vote of the full University faculty based on his scholarship and promise of outstanding achievement.Levinus

The Levinus Clarkson Award was established by University founders Elizabeth and Frederica Clarkson in memory of their brother, Levinus, and was first awarded in 1909. This award and the Frederica Clarkson Award are traditionally given to the two top students in the graduating class.

Parno, who received dual degrees in electrical engineering and applied mathematics, with a minor in computational science, was a member of the University’s Honors Program. For his honors thesis, he studied derivative free optimization.

Parno’s work combines aspects of heuristic optimization with stochastic processes to improve the optimization efficiency. His research helped him become the first undergraduate ever invited to attend an American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) workshop. The October 2008 workshop in Palo Alto, Calif., focused on hybrid optimization in hydrology. The collaborations made at this workshop will continue over the next year with continued visits to AIM in Palo Alto.

In the summer of 2008, Parno participated in the National Science Foundation-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at Colorado State University. He was part of CHILL Radar Program where he worked on parallel signal processing using graphics processing units (GPUs) and the Cell Broadband Engine found in the Playstation 3. The work will aid in near real-time processing of information from the distributed weather radar systems.

During the summer of 2007, Parno worked at Sandia National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., on environmental engineering applications of groundwater and surface water models. The goal of this work is to help develop optimal management solutions to difficult environmental problems.

In previous summers, Parno was a whitewater river guide on the Hudson River, and on the Roaring Fork, and Arkansas Rivers in Colorado.

Parno has presented various aspects of his work at several conferences including the SIAM conference on Optimization, the Copper Mountain Conference on Iterative Methods, and the SIAM conference on Computational Science and Engineering. He also has an article in submission for the IEEE journal on Evolutionary Computation.

Parno received the Clarkson Merit Scholarship, and Honors Scholarship. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, and Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical engineering honor society. He has also been a presidential scholar for many of his semesters at Clarkson. He received the Pi Mu Epsilon Outstanding Sophomore in Mathematics award in the 2006-2007 school year. He also received meritorious win in the 2009 COMAP mathematical contest in modeling and honorable mention in the 2007.

On campus, Parno was a member of the Honors Program; a member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics; a member of the Association for Women in Mathematics; an officer of Tau Beta Pi; a differential equations teaching assistant; the whitewater kayaking chairmen of the Outing Club; and a four-year member of the varsity Alpine Ski Team.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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