Five SEAS computer science students named 2012 Siebel Scholars

Siebel Scholars program recognizes outstanding students from the world’s most prestigious graduate schools

The 2012 Siebel Scholars from SEAS are exploring the frontiers of computer science from AI to visual processing.

Palo Alto, Calif. - September 9, 2011 - Five students dedicated to the study of computer science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) were named among the recipients of the 2012 Siebel Scholars awards.

Dimitrios Antos (Ph.D. candidate); Uri Braun (Ph.D. candidate); Loren McGinnis '11 (A.B./S.M. candidate); Kalyan Sunkavalli (Ph.D. candidate); and Benjamin Zagorsky '12 (A.B./S.M. candidate) will all receive a $35,000 award for their final year of graduate studies.

The SEAS-affiliated students in computer science are among other honorees hailing from Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, Stanford University, Tsinghua University (China), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Siebel Scholars are selected from among students who rank in the top of their class and are chosen by the deans of their respective schools on the basis of outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated qualities of leadership.

SEAS' Dean Cherry A. Murray will host a reception for the winners later in the fall.

In addition, the new scholars, along with all of the past scholars, will convene on October 14-16, 2011, at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Ashburn, Virginia, to explore the science, applications, benefits, and risks of synthetic biology with world-renowned experts in bioengineering, medicine, computer science, policy, and philosophy.

Attendees will explore the potential advances synthetic biology can bring to society, as well as discuss and debate the moral and ethical implications of these solutions, in the hope of creating a framework with which to evaluate and prioritize these technological innovations.

Dimitrios Antos (Ph.D. candidate)

Dimitrios Antos' research addresses fundamental issues in artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction. In particular, he uses cognitive mechanisms associated with human emotions to inspire the design of novel, efficient algorithms for computer decision making and machine learning. He holds an M.S. in computer science and economics from Athens University of Economics and Business.

Uri Braun (Ph.D. candidate)

Uri Braun researches security for graph-structured data. He has spent summers as a researcher at IBM Haifa, IBM Almaden, and MITRE. Prior to attending graduate school, he worked for 4 years at EMC's Symmetrix kernel research and development group. He completed his undergraduate studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Loren McGinnis '11 (A.B./S.M. candidate)

Loren McGinnis' academic interests include data management and software systems. His research has involved storing, compressing, and querying provenance data for Harvard Forest. For three years, Loren has been working part-time as a software developer and systems engineer for Clearwater Analytics.

Kalyan Sunkavalli (Ph.D. candidate)

Kalyan Sunkavalli is pursuing research in computer vision, image processing, and computer graphics. His specific area of focus is on understanding the different aspects of visual appearance and building tools to easily analyze and edit them in images and videos. He received his Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, and his Master's in Computer Science from Columbia University. Kalyan has worked as a Research Fellow at the Indian Institute of Science and as a research intern at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, Adobe Research, and Microsoft Research.

Benjamin Zagorsky '12 (A.B./S.M. candidate)

Ben Zagorsky has been involved with a wide range of computer science research. Two summers ago, he worked for Cornell Medical School on clustering algorithms for digital imaging and radiology. While attempting to design a new algorithm, he reinvented Parzen Estimation and devoted the rest of the summer to its analysis. The following summer, he worked at Google, and the next with SEAS Professor and Harvard CTO Jim Waldo on networking and timing aspects of a multiplayer strategy game. He currently works at Seven Bridges Genomics, a software start-up working on gene sequencing applications.


About the Siebel Scholars Foundation

The Siebel Scholars program was founded in 2000 to recognize the most talented students at the world’s leading graduate schools of business, computer science, and bioengineering and to form an active, lifelong community among an ever-growing group of leaders.

Today, more than 700 of the world’s brightest minds are Siebel Scholars. This exceptional group has the unique opportunity to directly influence the technologies, policies, and economic and social decisions that shape the future.

Siebel Scholars serve as key advisers to the Siebel Foundation, guiding the development of the innovative programs the Foundation initiates.

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Topics: Computer Science