Three CS Grad Students Receive Catacosinos Fellowships


The Catacosinos Fellowship for Excellence in Computer Science, an award given to graduate students who have made a strong contribution in the field of computer science, has been given to three PhD students for the 2014-2015 year: Hau Chan, Vikas Ashok and Bryan Perozzi,

The Department of Computer Science (CS) and the Graduate School at Stony Brook University worked together to carefully select recipients for the Fellowship Award.

TheCatacosinos family, by whom the fellowship was established, originally provided the CS department with an endowment in 1978.  The family's support has had a lasting impact on the university. Beyond the fellowship, two additional endowed funds established by the family have helped to further cancer research as well as strategic initiatives by the President. In 2014, Richard Z. Lin, MD of Physiology & Biophysics received a Catacosinos Translational Researcher Award for his work on pancreatic cancer, and the College of Business recently received vital funds toward a new laboratory for its students.

Hau ChanHau Chan, who just received his PhD in Computer Science in June 2015, was advised by Professor Luis E. Ortiz. Prior to Stony Brook, Chan studied at the College of Charleston where he earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science.

Chan’s academic interests include computational game theory, algorithmic mechanism designs, graph mining, and discrete mathematics. His work has been published in many academic journals and publications, including AAAI, NIPS, ICDM, and SDM.  Chan is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and an NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Fellow.

Chan’s next step is continuing his academic career as a postdocresearcher in the Computer Science Department at Trinity University. Chan said he is honored to receive the award.

“As a recipient of the award from the 2014-2015 William W. and James W. Catacosinos Fund, I believe that the award will provide me with the necessary funding to attend seminars and conferences across the US over the summer,” he said.


Vikas AshokVikas Ashok, a second recipient of the Catacosinos Fellowship Award for 2014-2015, began his PhD at Stony Brook in 2011. Prior to Stony Brook, Ashok received his Master’s in Computer Science from Old Dominion University and his Bachelor’s in Computer Science from the PES Institute of Technology in Bangalore India.

Advised by Professors I.V Ramakrishnan and Yevgen Borodin, Ashok has done research in natural language processing, healthcare informatics and web accessibility.

“I am very grateful and honored to be a recipient of the prestigious Catacosinos Fellowship Award,” Ashok said. “It's truly a wonderful feeling to know that my hard work and dedication to research have been acknowledged and generously rewarded. I would like to thank the SBU Grad School and CS department for offering this fellowship.”

Ashok said his next steps are to complete his dissertation, graduate and become a full-time research scientist.  



Bryan Perozzi ​​Bryan Perozzi, the third recipient of the 2014-2015 Catacosinos Fellowship Award, is a fourth-year PhD student advised by Professor Steven Skiena. His research interests include graph mining, representation learning with applications to social network analysis, natural language processing, and more. 

Perozzi is currently the author of 11 peer-reviewed publications, at prominent venues such as KDD, WWW, SDM, and CoNLL). He is a fellow with the Institute for Advanced Computational Science (IACS) at SBU

Before coming to Stony Brook, Perozzi said he spent several years working in industry on big data. He holds an MS in Computer Science from the Johns Hopkins University (2011) and a BS in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech (2008).

“'I’m honored to be named a recipient of the Catacosinos Fellowship – it’s a strong statement from our department, and a real encouragement,” Perozzi said. Perozzi said his short-term goals include completing his thesis work and finding a job, preferably in academia, where he can continue to ask questions about the world.