Two CS PhD Students Win Prestigious Fellowship Awards


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 two PhD students this year, Sumeet Bajaj and Charilaos (Harris) Papadopoulous.

The Graduate School and the Department of Computer Science (CS) at Stony Brook University worked together to carefully select recipients for the Catacosinos Fellowship Award. Along with the honor of being selected, Sumeet and Harris each received $5K in funding toward their studies.

The Catacosinos 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 Catacosinos 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.

In previous years, the Catacosinos Fellowship has also been given to very high-achieving individuals in Computer Science. A current Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stony Brook, C.R. Ramakrishan, received the Catacosinos Fellowship for Excellence in Computer Science in 1993, while working towards his PhD at Stony Brook. In 2010, the award was given to Jean Honorio and Tingbo Hou. Tingbo is currently a Software Engineer for Google in San Francisco, and Jean is currently doing his postdoctoratal studies at MIT in Machine Learning.

This year’s recipients both spent time studying abroad before coming to Stony Brook University. Harris earned his B.S. in Informatics in Athens, Greece, and Sumeet earned his B.S. in Engineering and Computer Science at the Pune Institute of Computer Technology in India.

Sumeet and Harris’ advisors are very proud of the work they’ve accomplished while at Stony Brook. Sumeet’s advisor, Radu Sion, Associate Professor of Computer Science, said that Sumeet is an "excellent computer scientist who will continue to be successful in his field for years to come." Harris’ advisor and Chair of the Department of Computer Science, Arie Kaufman, said that he is “not surprised by Harris’ honor. Harris utilizes and takes advantage of every opportunity here at Stony Brook to further his education.”