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Clarkson University Assistant Professor Jie Sun Receives Graham Faculty Research Award

Jie Sun, an assistant professor of mathematics in Clarkson University's School of Arts & Sciences, was awarded the John W. Graham Jr. Faculty Research Award during the University's 124th commencement ceremony today.

GrahamThe $1,500 research accounts are presented to "faculty members who have shown promise in engineering, business, liberal arts or scientific research."

Sun, who also holds a courtesy appointment in both the Department of Physics and Department of Computer Science, is a core member of the newly established Clarkson Center for Complex Systems Science, also known as "C3S2."

He received both his bachelor of science degree in physics and bachelor of economics degree in finance from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. His master of science and doctoral degrees in mathematics are from Clarkson.

Sun's area of expertise lies in the theory and application of dynamical systems, complex networks, information theory and inverse problems. He has interest in a broad range of research problems, including causal network inference with applications in brain science, genetics and structural health monitoring; spatial network modeling; design of personalized rating and ranking engines; modeling and control of animal collective behavior; as well as optimal synchronization and desynchronization in complex network dynamics.

He has co-authored 35 refereed journal articles, including some that appeared in prestigious journals such as Physical Review Letters and Physical Review X. In addition, he has made invited and contributed talks in numerous conferences, workshops and seminars, and served as a reviewer for more than 25 academic journals.

He is an active member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and the American Mathematical Society (APS), helped establish the SIAM Student Chapter at Northwestern University and is now a faculty advisor of the SIAM Student Chapter at Clarkson.

Sun is currently advising or co-advising seven graduate students and two undergraduates from diverse disciplines and backgrounds.

“I really enjoy working with each and every one of my students. It is a lot of fun," says Sun. "They bring a great deal of motivation and it is exciting to see them grow into world-class researchers. I often learn as much from my students as they learn from me, even though they might not yet realize that."

Among the many collaborators that Sun has worked with and is thankful to, Sun credits his Ph.D. advisors Professor Erik Bollt and Professor Daniel ben-Avraham for their vital importance in his accomplishments.

"I feel extremely lucky to have been advised by Erik and Dani as a student and I also appreciate the opportunity to continue working with them in exciting research projects,”" he says. "They not only helped shape my professional development, but are also role models that have been inspiring in my personal growth."

Before re-joining Clarkson as a tenure-track assistant professor of mathematics in 2012, Sun was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Northwestern University and a visiting postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University.

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, New York, and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, 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 innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University President Tony Collins (left) presents the John W. Graham Jr. Faculty Research Award to Jie Sun.

[A photograph for media use is available at]
[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Kelly Chezum, VP for External Relations, at 315-268-4483 or]

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