Wu He, associate professor of information technology in the Department of Information Technology & Decision Sciences in Old Dominion University's Strome College of Business, was awarded the 2021 National Science Foundation (NSF) Director's Award for Superior Accomplishments.

Wu is part of an NSF team recognized for its "extraordinary teamwork in forming the COVID-19 RAPID Coordination Group and responsiveness to the community during an unprecedented national emergency."

The team managed an influx of Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanisms (RAPIDs) in response to the Dear Colleague Letter on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which led to more than 1,000 RAPID and EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) awards.

Wu previously served as a reviewer and principal investigator for the NSF until he was chosen to be a program director for NSF's Division of Research on Learning in 2018.

"This award comes from working with a great group of colleagues who work very hard under extraordinary conditions to coordinate the entire foundation's efforts to respond to this global challenge," He said. "I am proud of how our efforts have been an important component of the national response to this pandemic."

At the NSF, Wu is responsible for working with programs that manage STEM education-related proposals and awards in areas of data science, computer science, cybersecurity, robotics, quantum information science and engineering, information and communication technology.

He serves as the program lead for the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program, which seeks to provide direct learning opportunities in formal and informal PreK-12 settings that leverage innovative use of technology to strengthen knowledge and interest in STEM and ICT careers.

Wu is also heavily involved in NSF's efforts and initiatives to advance the nation's quantum education and workforce development through close collaboration with academia, industry and partner agencies. Quantum information science and engineering is a critical industry of the future and is poised to drive the nation's industrial base, economic strength and national security in the coming decades.

Wu's research in cybersecurity, information technology and STEM education has attracted more than $3 million in funding from the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies over the years. He is also editor in chief of Information Discovery & Delivery and associate editor of Behavior & Information Technology.

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