Apr 06

3/30/16 Laura wins the Carol D. Soc Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award for Junior Faculty

Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award for Junior Faculty

Laura Waller, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

In only her fourth year as an Assistant Professor, Laura Waller has already distinguished herself not only as a scientist but also as a graduate mentor. Professor Waller is an expert in the field of computational imaging, having invented a novel approach to optical systems. She runs a collaborative and interdisciplinary laboratory that her students have described as a great pedagogical and working environment. She garnered no fewer than 27 nominations for this award from graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduates. She provides the necessary support and training that allows her students to achieve a high level of productivity, and also shows compassion when students are struggling. A graduate student dealing with difficult life circumstances referred to Professor Waller as a savior, stating β€œit is because of her capacity to look past failure and to use failure as a means for discovering truth, that I was able to get past my own professional and personal roadblocks.” Professor Waller epitomizes an ideal graduate mentor, providing – in the words of several current graduate students – the creative insight, vision, career opportunities, enthusiasm, and encouragement for graduate studies at Berkeley.