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Allen School students excel in NSF Graduate Research Fellowship competition

Photos of Allen School students recognized by NSFEvery year, the National Science Foundation highlights outstanding graduate student research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through its Graduate Research Fellowship Program — and every year, our students’ performance in this competition confirms the Allen School as one of the nation’s top destinations for promising young researchers in the computing fields. In the latest round, nine Allen School students were recognized by NSF, including seven graduate students and two undergraduates.

The competition for these fellowships is intense: More than 13,000 students from 449 baccalaureate-granting institutions applied for a total of 2,000 awards. Five Allen School students were among the recipients in the “Comp/IS/Eng” category:

Ellis Michael, a Ph.D. student working in the Computer Systems Lab with professors Tom Anderson and Dan Ports, received an award for computer systems and embedded systems research.

Leah Perlmutter, a Ph.D. student advised by professor Maya Cakmak in the Human-Centered Robotics Lab, received an award in human-robot interaction.

Anne Spencer Ross, a Ph.D. student working with professor James Fogarty on making mobile applications accessible to people with disabilities, received an award in human computer interaction.

John Thickstun, a Ph.D. student co-advised by Allen School professor Sham Kakade and Statistics professor Zaid Harchaoui, received an award for machine learning research.

Darby Losey, who worked with Allen School professor Raj Rao in the Neural Systems Lab while earning his bachelor’s in computer science and neurobiology, received an award for research in brain-computer interfaces. He is currently a researcher at the UW’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-Labs).

In addition to the fellows, four more Allen School students were recognized by NSF with honorable mentions: Ph.D. students Martin Kellogg, Rahul Nadkarni and Isaac Tian, and undergraduate Nate Yazdani. Kellogg is a member of the Programming Languages & Software Engineering (PLSE) group, working with professor Michael Ernst; Nadkarni works with professor Emily Fox on machine learning research; and Tian works with professor Brian Curless in the Graphics & Imaging Laboratory (GRAIL). Yazdani, who is double-majoring in computer science and mathematics, works with Allen School professor Ras Bodik of PLSE.

NSF has been very good to Allen School students through the Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Over the past three years alone, the agency has recognized 33 of our most promising student researchers with awards or honorable mentions — an impressive achievement and one of which we are extremely proud.

Read the 2017 announcement here, and learn more about the program here.

Congratulations to all!