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Goldwater Foundation Announces 240 Winners

Press Release

Aadith Moorthy, Arjun Balasingam, Arjun Jaini, Prayaag Venkat, Rohan Palanki, Saurabh Kumar and Vikram Sundar are named Goldwater Scholars for the 2017-2018.

Mrs. Peggy Goldwater Clay, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, announced that the Trustees awarded 240 scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year to undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the United States. An additional 307 nominees were named as Honorable Mentions.

The Goldwater Scholars were selected based on academic merit from a field of 1,286 natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering students nominated by the campus representatives from among 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide. Of those reporting, 133 of the Scholars are men, 103 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their highest degree objective. Twenty-two Scholars are mathematics majors, 153 are science and related majors, 51 are majoring in engineering, and 14 are computer science majors. Many of the Scholars have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering, and computer science.

The one and two year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Goldwater Scholars have very impressive academic qualifications that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 89 Rhodes Scholarships, 127 Marshall Awards, 145 Churchill Scholarships, 96 Hertz Fellowships and numerous other distinguished awards like the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

Since its first award in 1989, the Foundation has bestowed 7,921 scholarships worth approximately 63 million dollars.


Aadith Moorthy
Institution: California Institute of Technology
Field of Study: Materials Research
Career Goal: Ph.D. in Materials Science. Conduct applied research in materials science and teach at the university level.
Mentor(s): Brent Fultz, Axel Scherer, Jaspreet Singh Dhau
Campus Representative: Barbara Green

Arjun Balasingam
Institution: Stanford University
Field of Study: Engineering
Career Goal: I will pursue a Ph.D. in EECS, lead a lab, fusing my mastery of HW/SW design and machine intelligence to solve societally important technical challenges, and train the next generation of students.
Mentor(s): Dr. Sachin Katti, Mr. Manu Bansal, Dr. Sethu Vijayakumar, Dr. Vladimir Ivan, Dr. Oussama Khatib, Mr. Xiyang Yeh, Mr. Gerald Brantner, Dr. Subhasish Mitra, Mr. Gage Hills, Dr. Ping Hsu
Campus Representative: Kristin Black

Arjun Jaini
Institution: University of Richmond
Field of Study: Chemistry
Career Goal: I plan to obtain a Ph.D. in chemistry and work on problems pertaining to clean energy, food, or water in the industry. I want the chemistry that I work on to make the world a better place.
Mentor(s): Dr. Carol Parish, Dr. Michael Leopold
Campus Representative: Jonathan Dattelbaum


Prayaag Venkat
Institution: University of Maryland: College Park
Field of Study: Computer and Information Science and Engineering(CISE)
Career Goal: My career goals involve earning a Ph.D. in Computer Science, securing a position as a professor, researching the design and analysis of algorithms, and teaching at the university level.
Mentor(s): Samir Khuller, Anurag Dwivedi, David Mount
Campus Representative: Robert Infantino

Rohan Palanki
Institution: Rice University
Field of Study: Engineering
Career Goal: M.D./Ph.D in Bioengineering. I intend to conduct research in the development of diagnostic point-of-care medical devices using synthetic biology and nanotechnology methods and teach in academia.
Mentor(s): Brian Landry, Jeff Tabor, Dr. Sumit Arora, Dr. Ajay Singh, Dr. Troy Stevens, Dr. Brian Fouty, Dr. Tom Thomas, Dr. K.T. Hsaio
Campus Representative: Caroline Quenemoen

Saurabh Kumar
Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology
Field of Study: Computer and Information Science and Engineering(CISE)
Career Goal: I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in deep reinforcement learning and conduct artificial intelligence research either at a university or in an industry research group.
Mentor(s): Charles Isbell, Samantha Krening, Huy Nguyen, Jay Mahadeokar, Christopher Rozell, Marissa Connor, Miles Wernick
Campus Representative: Kathryn Meehan

Vikram Sundar
Institution: Harvard College
Field of Study: Mathematical Sciences
Career Goal: Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry. Research, innovate, publish, and teach computational modeling of chemical systems with biological importance.
Mentor(s): David Gelbwaser, Alan Aspuru-Guzik, Tasha Arvanitis, Alexander Donchev, Reza Farhadifar, Daniel Needleman, Gaurav Chopra
Campus Representative: Gregory Llacer


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