Established in 1996, PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinates the PECASE with participating departments and agencies including the National Science Foundation, which nominated Bociu for the award.
Bociu works in analysis and control of partial differential equations. Her research includes studying the biomechanics and hemodynamics in the lamina cribrosa, a structure in the eye, to better understand the cause and progression of glaucoma and to find new ways to prevent or treat the disease. Her findings have implications for other biological fluid-solid mixtures, such as cartilage, bones and engineered tissues.
Bociu has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award and was named an NC State University Faculty Scholar, both in 2016. She mentors NC State’s Association of Women in Mathematics chapter and heads up a number of mathematics outreach activities, including the popular “Math Doesn’t Bug Me” exhibit at the annual Bugfest event at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
Bociu received her B.A. in mathematics from Lawrence University in 2002 and her M.S. and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Virginia in 2004 and 2008, respectively.