Three undergraduate researchers have been awarded the 2021 Barry Goldwater Scholarship, an honor that funds students who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.
As Goldwater scholars, Amil Dravid, Andrew Laeuger and Madelyn Moy represent the scientific talent essential to ensure the U.S. maintains its global competitiveness and security, according to the Department of Defense National Defense Education Programs (NDEP), which has partnered with the Goldwater board to increase the number of scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year to 410 college students from across the country.
Dravid is a sophomore computer science student in the McCormick School of Engineering, whose interests lie in artificial intelligence, specifically deep learning and computer vision, and their mathematical foundations. He is also interested in foundational research with broad applications not only to computer science and engineering, but with potential to improve society through avenues such as healthcare.
Dravid credits his award to the commitment of his research advisor Professor Aggelos Katsaggelos, along with other mentors from the image and video processing and computational photography labs. Dravid aims to pursue an academic career in research and teaching at the university level.
A sophomore from Milwaukee, Laeuger is a triple major in the integrated science program, physics and math in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and he hopes to pursue a research career as a physicist. The research project at the heart of his Goldwater application focused on improving methods for laser-based cooling of levitated nanoparticles in the lab of Professor Andrew Geraci.
Outside of the lab and classroom, Laeuger plays the violin in the Philharmonia and serves as vice president of Northwestern’s Outdoors Club. He is active on the NUSTARS Foundation Rocketry Team, the club ultimate frisbee team, and the Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal editing team.
A junior in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences with majors in the integrated science program, biology and anthropology and a minor in Chinese, Moy would eventually like to become a professor and run her own lab.
Moy works in Professor Katherine Amato's biological anthropology lab, where she studies the gut microbiome of human and non-human primates. She is currently researching the relationship between pregnancy, immune function and the gut microbiome of pregnant women from Cebu, Philippines.
Moy previously worked in Dr. Sui Huang's lab in the Feinberg School of Medicine, where she studied an anti-cancer drug.
A product of Chicago Public Schools, Moy is chief revenue officer of Supplies for Dreams, a student-run nonprofit that provides mentoring and field trips to middle-schoolers in Chicago Public Schools, and co-president of Chinatown Health Initiative, which offers translation services and health resources in Chicago's Chinatown.
Each Goldwater Scholar annually receives an amount equal to the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, books, and room and board minus the amount of support provided for by other sources, up to a maximum of $7,500.
Students interested in this and other opportunities should contact the Office of Fellowships.