Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Office of News & Public Affairs

BC Psychologist Sara Cordes Is Named2010 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (March 2010) -- Sara Cordes, an assistant professor of psychology at Boston College, is among outstanding early career scientists, mathematicians, and economists to be named Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows for 2010, the Sloan Foundation has announced.

The Sloan fellowship is a highly competitive award, with winners at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada who are conducting research at the frontiers of physics, chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics and neuroscience.

  Sara Cordes

Cordes' research centers on understanding how it is that infants, children, and adults keep track of quantity – specifically, number, time and amount. Her work revolves around understanding exactly how infant representations of number and other quantities relate to later mathematics competence, and how numerical competence and fluency in early childhood affects decision making in activities involving probability, such as gambling.

"The Sloan Research Fellowships support the work of exceptional young researchers early in their academic careers, and often at pivotal stages in their work," says Paul L. Joskow, President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  "I am proud of the Foundation's rich history in providing the resources and flexibility necessary for young researchers to enhance their scholarship, and I look forward to the future achievements of the 2010 Sloan Research Fellows."

Cordes came to Boston College in 2009 from a position as research associate at Duke University's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. She holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, and has received a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral NRSA Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, among other awards.

The Sloan Research Fellowships have been awarded since 1955, initially in only three scientific fields: physics, chemistry, and mathematics. Since then, 38 Sloan Research Fellows have gone on to win the Nobel Prize in their fields; 57 have received the National Medal of Science; and 14 have been awarded the Fields Medal, the top honor in mathematics. Although Sloan Research Fellowships in economics began only in 1983, Sloan Fellows have subsequently accounted for 9 of the 14 winners of the John Bates Clark Medal, generally considered the most prestigious honor for young economists.

Grants of $50,000 for a two-year period are administered by each Fellow's institution.  Once chosen, Sloan Research Fellows are free to pursue whatever lines of inquiry are of most interest to them, and they are permitted to employ Fellowship funds in a wide variety of ways to further their research aims.  For a complete list of winners, visit:

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grantmaking institution that supports original research and broad-based education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance.  For more information visit

--Patricia Delaney, Boston College Office of News & Public Affairs,