Carnegie Mellon University
April 29, 2022

Students’ Research and Life-Long Learning Goals Continue Through National Science Fellowship

As the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, Anthony Karahalios, Tepper School Ph.D. student and Shlok Goyal, alumnus in economics, receive the prestigious award to further their research and life-long learning goals.

According to the NSF website, about 12,000 students apply annually for graduate research fellowships from NSF, and 2,000 receive awards. The three- and five-year-long fellowships that “recognize and support outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions,” are the oldest of their kind. NSF says that the individuals who participate in the program “are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering, [and] are crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation’s technological infrastructure and national security as well as contributing to the economic well-being of society at large.”

Karahalios and Goyal will be joining the likes of 40 Nobel laureates who are alumni of the NSF GRFP.

Solving Society’s Pressing Problems

Karahalios is a Ph.D. student in the Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization program at the Tepper School.

“Anthony is one of our most outstanding students in the Ph.D. program,” said Gérard Cornuéjols, IBM University Professor of Operations Research. “In addition to his excellent research skills, Karahalios is also an outstanding teacher and leader. I’m excited to see what he’ll accomplish through this fellowship.”

Karahalios’ proposed research aims to develop new methods for solving large-scale combinatorial optimization problems. He plans to apply these methods to help find and validate strong solutions to vehicle routing problems that are important for the last-mile delivery of goods to consumers.

“I hope to work on several projects related to my research area, publish results, present at conferences, develop state-of-the-art code, and partner with companies who encounter the problems that I study,” said Karahalios of his hopes for the fellowship.

Talent, Maturity, and Drive

Shlok Goyal graduated from the Tepper School in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Machine Learning from the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Goyal also is a recipient of the NSF Fellowship award.

“In his last two years at Carnegie Mellon, Goyal had been instrumental in revitalizing the research activities in our undergraduate program,” said Laurence Ales, Associate Professor of Economics. “He is the founding president of the undergraduate economics research club where he had displayed great leadership and services for the Tepper School.”

For the fellowship, Goyal proposed a method to measure the effects of large mergers on productivity, markups, and concentration. Specifically, he estimated the historical effects of antitrust policy by using divestitures mandated by antitrust agencies for merger approval.

“Goyal has what I believe to be the three key ingredients that will make him extremely successful: talent, maturity, and drive,” said Ales.

“I am excited to be in a community of fellow students and professors with whom I will get to discuss and collaborate with on macroeconomic research,” said Goyal of the NSF GRFP.

Upon graduation from Carnegie Mellon, Goyal secured a position as a Senior Research Analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He will be attending Harvard University for a Ph.D. in economics in the fall.