The spotlight shone on two CSAIL Principal Investigators earlier this month as President Obama honored Scott Aaronson and Manolis Kellis with Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The award is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon up-and-coming science and engineering professionals. The Presidential Awards were created in 1996 by the National Science and Technology Council, under a commission from President Clinton, to help foster growth among scientists and engineers who show the necessary promise and potential to lead America’s next generation of scientific innovation. Additionally, the U.S. government hopes to increase awareness of careers in science and engineering and emphasize the importance of science and technology to the nation’s well being through the PECASE program. Aaronson, a member of the Theory of Computation and Complexity Theory groups at CSAIL and an associate professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, was nominated for the award by the National Science Foundation. His research focuses on computational limits in the physical world and the study of quantum computing. Kellis, a CSAIL member and associate professor of Computer Science at MIT, works in the realm of computational biology, genomics, epigenomics, gene regulation and genome evolution. He was nominated for the PECASE program by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. Read more on the PECASE program here.