Awarding Excellence

Awarding Excellence

Some say excellence is its own reward - but a little recognition never hurts.

Five Carnegie Mellon University graduate students — Jason Richard Koenig, Anuj Kumar, Gabriela Marcu, Ishan Misra and Mrinmaya Sachan — have been named Siebel Scholars for outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated leadership. Each will receive a $35,000 award for their final year of study.

The Siebel Scholars program honors talented students at the world's leading graduate schools of business, bioengineering and computer science. The program was established in 2000 by the Siebel Foundation and awards grants to CMU and other renowned institutions.

Siebel Scholars
Five recipients are selected annually by the deans of their respective schools. The program, with 870 scholars to date, fosters collaboration and community service in the search for solutions to global problems.

Jason Koenig (CS'13) is pursuing a fifth-year master's degree at CMU. His research interests are formal verification, static analysis techniques and formal methods — mathematical techniques for verification and debugging of software and hardware systems. Koenig recently interned at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, developing a tool for analyzing embedded flight software and earned a Computing Research Association Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award honorable mention.

Anuj Kumar is a Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII), where he received his master's degree. His research focuses on developing speech-user — or voice recognition — interfaces for children and low-literate individuals. Kumar has collaborated with groups at Microsoft, IBM, the University of California, Berkeley and IIIT Hyderabad. His research has been featured on ABC News and a CBC documentary.

Gabriela Marcu is a Ph.D. candidate in the HCII. Her research spans ubiquitous — or pervasive — computing, applied sociology and mental health. She examines the intersecting roles of such technology and face-to-face collaboration in the mental health services area. Marcu's dissertation work involves studying how mobile systems can improve mental health services by encouraging more face-to-face collaboration.

Ishan Misra is a master's degree student in the Robotics Institute with an interest in computer vision. His research involves object detection and scene understanding. Misra is developing data-driven methods for discovery of distinguishing variations in real-world objects to better enable computer learning. Such systems could be used by robots when encountering unknown objects in the field.

Mrinmaya Sachan, a master's degree student in the Language Technologies Institute, studies social networks and their flows of written information. Networks with several modes of communication and diverse interaction types provide a rich source of varied data that can be used to discover unknown interests and relationships among people. Sachan has presented several papers at major Web and natural language processing conferences.

Congratulations to five talented and deserving students.

Related Links: Read press release | School of Computer Science | Human-Computer Interaction Institute | Robotics Institute | Language Technologies Institute

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