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Released: May 30, 2002

Kimberly Gibbs
(757) 864-2961/6120

RELEASE NO. 02-039

NASA researchers awarded time for in-depth studies

Two NASA Langley Research Center researchers will spend a year away from the research center to study their fields in depth and make scientific and technological advancements.

This year the Floyd L. Thompson Fellowship is awarded to Daniel Moerder and John Rehder. Moerder will be researching guidance and control systems at the College of William and Mary, and Rehder will be studying an aspect of computer engineering at the University of Italy in Padua.

The Thompson fellowship was established in 1977 to enhance the research capability of a researcher and provide a mechanism for bringing in new ideas to NASA Langley.

Moerder will begin his sabbatical in June with the mathematics department at William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. solving problems with guidance and control systems. " Control systems are very difficult to calculate," Moerder said. "When solving these problems you could mathematically get trapped in the equations, not reaching the best possible solution." Moerder hopes his research will help him and his colleagues develop the best possible control and guidance systems for aircraft.

"I am very thankful," said Moerder. "I understand it is a strong investment for Langley to lose a person for a year, but I also think the Floyd L. Thompson Fellowship is a great opportunity to support education."

Rehder and his colleagues in Italy will be finding more efficient ways to match documents without duplicating the texts.

"Everything just came together," said Rehder. "I felt I had a good chance to be a recipient because I knew no one had gone into this particular research area before." With the research Rehder is conducting he will be able to condense vast quantities of information and design a computer program to assist in finding information and interrelating it to specific research.

"Researchers would be able to have results of studies at their fingertips," said Rehder. "They would be able to find information more accurately and quickly." Rehder is beginning his sabbatical to Italy in September.

 

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