Rising senior Samantha Giordani earned All-America honors twice at the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships this past weekend in Geneva, Ohio. The engineering major placed eighth in the 100-meter dash in a school-record time of :11.88 and sixth in the 200-meter dash with a time of :24.04. She led CMU’s women’s team to a 26th place team finish, while the men’s team placed 21st. Other Tartans earning All-America honors were: Kendra Noneman, 2nd place in the hammer throw; Bram Miller, 4th place in the shot put; Justin Kiefel, 3rd place in the triple jump; and Varun Narayan, 7th place in the long jump. Learn more about the track and field teams and CMU athletics.
Ruiran Xun, a recent graduate with bachelor’s degrees in chemisty and computer science with a minor in collaborative piano, has won the K&L Gates Prize. The $5,000 award is given to a graduating undergraduate student who has inspired their fellow students to love learning through a combination of intellect, high scholarly achievement, engagement with others and character. Xun graduated with Mellon College of Science College Honors and was elected into Phi Beta Kappa — one of the most exclusive honor societies in the world — in fall 2021. She also was selected as an Andrew Carnegie Society Scholar. Karen Stump, a longtime teaching professor in the Department of Chemistry who has been advising undergraduates for almost three decades, said Xun is one of the top students she has known for her academic talent, her drive, the breadth of her interests and talents, and her full slate of activities and coursework. Learn more about Xun.
Joel Ye, a graduate student in the Neuroscience Institute’s Program in Neural Computation, has been awarded the Department of Energy’s Computational Science Graduate Fellowship. The prestigious fellowship provides funding for tuition, a yearly stipend and professional development allowance, and access to a community of computational science and engineering leaders. Ye is a Ph.D. candidate currently rotating with Leila Wehbe and Robert Gaunt. His research aims to relate computation in the brain and in artificial intelligence (AI) systems and to develop deep learning systems for bidirectional brain-computer interfaces. Ye said while there are thriving AI and neuroscience communities at CMU, surprisingly few labs are working toward applying deep learning algorithms in clinical neuroscientific applications. His fellowship will allow him to pursue work toward modeling neurostimulation, connecting the complex disciplines. “I'm deeply grateful for the chance to pursue what I see as a big opportunity for the field,” Ye said. “We've long been trying to understand how the brain's activity derives from the behaviors it supports, and we're seeing exciting progress in our ability to quantify this connection. I believe this connection can be leveraged to improve brain computer interface applications.”