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United States National Academy of Sciences honors diaspora Greeks

Two distinguished Greek scientists from the diaspora were elected new members of the United States National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their important scientific work.

The two distinguished scientists are Michael Giannakakis, Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, New York, and Vicky Kalogeras Professor of Astrophysics, University of Northern Illinois.

The American Academy also elected two other Greeks as foreign partners: Panagiotis Karkanas, Director of the Archaeological Sciences Laboratory at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, and Anastasios Xipapaddeas, Professor of Economic Theory and Politics of the Athens University of Economics and Business.

The National Academy of Sciences was founded by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 and, along with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine, advises the US government and other US organizations on scientific, technological, and medical issues.

Mr. Giannakakis is a graduate of the Varvakeion School of Athens, the School of Electrical Engineering of the NTUA (1975) and Princeton University from where he received his Ph.D. (1979). He worked at Bell Labs research laboratories between 1978-2001, was a professor at Stanford University (2002-03) and since 2004 he has been teaching Columbia Computer Science. His research focuses on the design and analysis of algorithms, complexity theory, game theory, databases, etc. He is also a member of the US National Academy of Engineering since 2011 and Academia Europaea since 2013, as well as receiving the Knuth Prize (2005).

Ms. Kalogeras is a graduate of the Department of Physics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1992) and of the University of Illinois from where she received her doctorate in astronomy (1997). After post-doctoral research at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, she has been teaching in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University since 2001. She is the chief astrophysicist in the LIGO scientific consortium that discovered gravitational waves, in which she continues to focus her research, coupled with the formation of black hole pairs in space.