Crowder Wins 2002 Simon Prize

Photo: Dr. Mark Crowder and Dean Zvi Galil

The Robert Simon Memorial Prize is awarded annually by the APAM Department to the graduate student who has completed the most outstanding dissertation. Dr. Mark A. Crowder was the winner of the 2002 Simon Prize.

Dr. Crowder received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in October 2001. His dissertation was entitled "Excimer Laser Crystallization of Thin Si Films for Low-Temperature Thin Film transistors," and he was advised by Prof. James Im of the Program of Materials Science and Engineering in the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics. Dr. Crowder's thesis addressed intragrain defects of the new "sequential lateral solidification" (SLS) method that allows uniform polycrystalline and location-controlled single-crystal films to be formed. In particular, he presented the results of thorough and independent experimental study on characterizing the structural defects found in Si thin films produced by pulsed-laser-induced SLS. His work showed unusual originality in developing a quantitative treatment based on a plastic deformation model and thermo-elastic stress analysis to account for the observed defects.

Dr. Mark Crowder received his B.S. from the University of Oregon in 1995 and conducted undergraduate experimental research measuring the junction capacitance in a Si:H Schottky diode and investigating the electronic surface states of crystalline platinum. He entered Columbia as a graduate student in 1996 working within Prof. James Im's research group. While at Columbia, he co-authored eleven refereed publications and numerous presentations at professional conferences. He is co-named on seven pending patents, including four patents related to the practical application of sequential lateral solidification.

Following his Ph.D, Dr. Mark Crowder was a member of the technical staff of the Liquid Crystal Display Process Technology Laboratory of Sharp Laboratories of American located in Camas, Washington.

History of the Robert Simon Memorial Prize

The Robert Simon Memorial Prize is awarded annually by the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics to the graduate student who has completed the most outstanding dissertation. Should no graduate student’s dissertation qualify in any given year, the prize may be awarded to either the most outstanding student who has completed a master of science degree in the Department or to the most outstanding graduating senior in the Department. The Department chair in consultation with the Department faculty selects the awardee.

Robert Simon (December 25, 1919–February 11, 2001) received a B.A. degree cum laude in classics from the City College of New York in 1941, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and an M.A. in mathematics from Columbia University in 1949. Between 1941 and 1944, Mr. Simon was a lieutenant in the United States Armed Forces serving in England, France, and Italy. He participated in the D-Day operation as a navigator for a plane that dropped paratroopers in the vicinity of Omaha Beach. General Dwight Eisenhower personally shook his hand and wished him well the night before the D-Day assault.

Mr. Simon, who was born and lived in New York City, spent a lifetime making valuable contributions to the field of computer science. Starting in 1953, he worked for 15 years at Sperry's Univac Division in various capacities including marketing, planning, systems engineering, systems programming, and information services. He also spent a year working at the Fairchild Engine Division as director of the Engineering Computer Group. He personally directed the establishment of several company computer centers at sites throughout the United States. Between 1969 and 1973, he was a partner with American Science Associates, a venture capital firm. Mr. Simon was a founder and vice president of Intech Capital Corporation and served on its board from 1972 to 1981 and a founder and member of the board of Leasing Technologies International, Inc. from 1983 until his retirement in 1995.

The prize was established in 2001 by Dr. Jane Faggen with additional support from friends and relatives of Mr. Simon.

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