Daniel Lacker Wins 2024 Sloan Research Fellowship

February 26, 2024

The Sloan Research Fellowshipis one of the most competitive and prestigious awards available to early-career scholars. Since the first Sloan Research Fellowships were awarded in 1955, 181 faculty from Columbia University have received them, including this year’s winners. A total of 57 Fellows have also received a Nobel Prize.

This year, 126 young scientists across the U.S. and Canada were awarded fellowships. The fellowship is open to scholars in chemistry, computer science, Earth system science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, and physics. Winners receive a two-year, $75,000 fellowship.

“Sloan Research Fellowships are extraordinarily competitive awards involving the nominations of the most inventive and impactful early-career scientists across the U.S. and Canada,” said Adam F. Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “We look forward to seeing how Fellows take leading roles shaping the research agenda within their respective fields.”


Dan Lacker, an associate professor of industrial engineering and operations research at Columbia Engineering affiliated with the Data Science Institute, studies probability theory and its applications, with a focus on mathematical models of large-scale systems of interacting individuals. These mathematical models appear in diverse areas of science, where the individuals may represent people, viruses, or particles, and the large systems may be financial markets, epidemics, or fluids. Daniel's work explains theoretical principles of how macro-level structures, such as an epidemic, can emerge from micro-level rules, such as person-to-person transmission and social networks.