SCSE Academy of Science and Engineering: 2009 Inductees
Dr. Kurt Fausch
Bachelor of Science - Biology 1976
Dr. Kurt Fausch graduated from UMD in 1976 with a BS in Zoology and has gone on to become an internationally recognized fisheries ecologist. After leaving UMD, Dr. Fausch began graduate studies at Michigan State University where he worked with Dr. Ray White studying behavioral interactions among stream salmonids. He received his MS in 1978 and a PhD in 1981. During his years at Michigan State, Dr. Fausch developed a strong affection for trout streams and their inhabitants and he decided to pursue those interests when he accepted a position as an assistant professor in the Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Dr. Roy Sanford
Bachelor of Arts - Chemistry 1968
Bachelor of Science - Mathematics 1968
Dr. Sanford graduated magna cum laude with a BS in Chemistry and Mathematics from UMD in 1968. He continued his graduate studies at the University of Minnesota with a PhD in Biostatistics in 1973 and also earned an MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management in 1980. Over the course of his business career, he worked as a professional statistician, educator, consultant, and executive.
Dr. Sanford worked as a statistician on research projects in the environment, health, and life sciences. He was part of product development and process improvement efforts in the industrial projects. Under his leadership, the Statistical Department at Baxter Healthcare developed into a designated company Center of Excellence. On a national level, he chaired annual meetings of pharmaceutical company statisticians, was a founding member of the Ball State Midwest Statistics Conference, and consulted on trade association projects. He is author of numerous technical reports and publications.
As an executive with Baxter Healthcare Corporation, he administered corporate functions, directed projects, and developed programs with international scope with much success. He was promoted to VP for Quality Management as a consequence for his contributions. Dr. Sanford was a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Examiner and served on the American Society for Quality Control Brumbaugh Award Committee. He became an independent consultant in quality management and worked with companies in different industries.
Following retirement, Roy followed his interests in art and carpentry. He earned a certificate in Botanical Illustration. His botanical renderings have won recognition; several appear in publications and private collections. He also became interested in raising, training, and breeding champion Vizslas. Roy and his wife have trained, handled, and showed several of their dogs to earn American Kennel Club show and performance titles.
Dr. Amit Singhal
Master of Science - Computer Science 1991
Dr. Amit Singhal received a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from IIT Roorkee in 1989. He continued his computer science studies in the Master’s program at UMD where he was introduced to and conducted research in the field of information retrieval. Following his graduation in 1992, Dr. Singhal was admitted to the PhD program in computer science at Cornell University, studying under the direction of Professor Gerard Salton, the leading pioneer in the field of information retrieval. He graduated in 1996 and subsequently joined AT&T Labs where he pursued research in several areas of information retrieval including speech retrieval, document ranking, question answering systems, document routing/filtering, and automatic text summarization.
In 2000, Dr. Singhal joined Google, and since that time has been working on Google ranking. Ranking is the end result of applying a search engine to a user’s query. Ranking determines the order in which web pages considered relevant to a query are returned. The Google web-based search engine is the most widely known and used search engine. It consists of a collection of algorithms that are used to find the most relevant items for hundreds of millions of queries each day.
Dr. Singhal is a Google Fellow, the designation Google reserves for its elite engineers. He is in charge of Google’s ranking team whose responsibility is to continuously monitor and improve the search engine’s performance. His team typically makes ten changes to the ranking algorithm each week. According to the New York Times, Dr. Singhal is the master of the Google “ranking algorithm.” Dr. Singhal is regarded by the publication India Abroad as one of the 50 most influential Indian Americans. Through his contributions to date, his work has permanently altered the world’s technological, economic, and social landscape.
Dr. Wanda Taylor
Bachelor of Science - Geology 1982
Dr. Taylor is a Professor of Geology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). She received her BS in Geology with a minor in Chemistry from UMD in 1982. She earned her MS in Structural Geology from Syracuse University in 1984, where she worked on the Sevier orogenic belt in the Northern Mormon Mountains of Nevada. She received her PhD from the University of Utah in 1989 where she worked on the faulting and timing of extension in eastern Nevada and its relationship to volcanism. In 1989, she came to UMD to teach sedimentology, structural geology, and field methods as a one-year replacement. She left the Midwest to join the geoscience faculty at UNLV where she has been since 1991. From 2004 to 2007 she served as Chair of the Department of Geoscience; and since 2007 she has served UNLV as Interim Dean of the College of Sciences.Dr. Taylor is recognized as one of the leading authorities on the tectonic history of the Great Basin of western US. She, along with her students and colleagues, has made many contributions to our understanding of the geologic history of this region, from 250 million years ago up to the present time. Her research focuses on rocks that exhibit ductile deformation as well as brittle deformation; including both studies of very small-scale structural features as well as large-scale structural features that show the behavior of rock over vast regions. This has involved unraveling histories of folding, faulting, volcanism, and intrusion of igneous bodies. She has worked with geochemists and volcanologists in the careful reconstruction of the timing of geologic events. While some of this work has been on compressional deformation of older rocks in the Great Basin, much of what Dr. Taylor has been involved in has concentrated on extensional tectonics. It is in this latter realm that the contributions of Dr. Taylor, her students, and co-workers have gone well beyond simply understanding the geologic history of the Great Basin; rather, it has allowed them to extend our understanding of the processes involved when other areas of the earth undergo stretching (i.e., extensional tectonics).
Dr. James Rohlf
Bachelor of Arts - Physics 1973
Bachelor of Arts - Mathematics 1973
Dr. Rohlf was born in Cloquet, MN and entered UMD in 1969 after graduating from Duluth East High School. While at UMD, he completed a double major in Physics and Mathematics. Heading west for graduate study in physics, Dr. Rohlf completed an MS degree at UCLA and then his PhD at the California Institute of Technology in 1980. His subsequent career in experimental particle physics has included appointments at the Laboratory for Nuclear Studies at Cornell University, the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), and the faculty at Harvard University. In 1988 he joined Boston University as a Professor of Physics.Dr. Rohlf’s research in high energy particle physics has involved participation in a series of large scale experiments that have provided key discoveries over the past three decades. These experiments study the constituent particles and interactions of matter at the shortest length scales. Beginning with his PhD work, an experiment at Fermilab which involved the early observation of jets of particles produced in collisions of nuclear matter, he has been engaged in untangling the large amount of data produced in such experiments to identify the particles produced and their properties. His distinguished record with these large endeavors includes work on the experiments at CERN that discovered the W and Z bosons that are the intermediaries of the weak interaction, one of the four fundamental interactions in nature. Most recently, Dr. Rohlf has been working on the Compact Muon Solenoid at CERN, one of the key detectors at CERN’s new Large Hadron Collider (LHC). He has also authored a text on modern physics; and, along with his interest in particle physics, has contributed articles analyzing environmental issues in the Cape Cod area.