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President’s Award for Sustained Career Excellence

University of Missouri System President Mun Choi today awarded the UM System President’s Award for Sustained Career Excellence to Sajal Das, professor and Daniel St. Clair Endowed Chair of computer science at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Choi—accompanied by Missouri S&T Interim Chancellor Christopher Maples—surprised Das with a $5,000 prize and the award, which recognizes faculty who show a demonstrated and sustained record of distinguished scholarship, research or creativity for a period of 15 or more years.

For more than 29 years, Das has sustained high quality interdisciplinary research in computer science spanning mobile computing, wireless sensor networks, smart environments and cloud computing. He has published extensively in more than 300 peer-reviewed journal articles, 52 book chapters and four co-authored books. He holds five U.S. patents. Das and his team were pioneers in conducting National Science Foundation-funded research in smart environments, and the team’s studies have received more than 700 citations.

“Dr. Das is singularly responsible for changing how the Missouri S&T campus is meeting the challenge of translating select fundamental research from the laboratory to commercialization of that technology,” said Bonnie Bachman, professor and faculty fellow of economics at Missouri S&T. “Because of his vision, our campus is leading the way in creating cutting-edge research programs in computer science, is creating an innovative and entrepreneurial culture, and is laying the foundation for economic impact by taking research to commercialization. Dr. Das deserves to be recognized because he is a leader and inspiration to faculty and students alike. He takes seriously the challenge of translating research to ventures that have both social and economic impact.”

From 2013 to 2017, Das served as the chair of the Department of Computer Science. During that time, the department doubled its grant expenditures as well as the number of computer science doctoral degrees it conferred. He helped to establish a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship by recruiting Missouri S&T’s first entrepreneur in residence. A strong promoter of diversity education, Das took strategic measures to increase women and minority student enrollment in the department, which has increased from 7 to 14.2 percent since 2013.

“Dr. Das is internationally known for his fundamental research contributions,” said Diane Cook, the Huie-Rogers Chair and professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Washington State University. “Sajal’s work is interdisciplinary and takes a more fundamental approach to tackling major challenges in cutting-edge problems in mobile, wireless and sensor networks. He is a true scientist, a passionate educator and mentor.”

The UM System President’s Awards are presented annually to faculty members across the four campuses of the UM System who have made exceptional contributions in advancing the mission of the university. Das will be formally recognized by Choi during an awards celebration to be held in June.

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Campus: Missouri S&T
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