Graduate Women's Scholarship Recipients

Microsoft Research recognizes these outstanding graduate students, who represent a selection of the best and the brightest in their fields.

2014 Graduate Women Scholars

Angelica Ruszkowski

Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Research area interest: surgical robotics

Long-term research goal: The focus of my research will be concentrated on augmenting the sensory perception of a surgeon performing telesurgery with robotic surgical systems. Incorporating haptic feedback or enhanced visual perception will provide information useful for surgical guidance, allowing the surgeon to complete the operation more knowledgably, with greater efficiency, and with fewer complications. My goal is to make surgical tools more effective to offer greater benefit to patients.

Anne HolladayAnne Holladay

Robot Manipulation
Carnegie Mellon University

Research area interest: robotics, manipulation, machine learning

Long-term research goal: The goal of my research is to enable robots to effectively use their environment as a whole to accomplish complex manipulation tasks. I aim to expand a robotic manipulator's dexterity allowing robots to interact with objects in new and useful ways.

Brooke FugateBrooke Fugate

Systems, Architectures, Mobility, and Networking
University of Pennsylvania

Research area interest: I am interested in utilizing hardware mechanisms to address current computer system vulnerabilities in a multi-core processor environment.

Long-term research goal: I would like to demonstrate how computer hardware designs can provide an environment that is both secure for the user, as well as efficient in both chip area and execution time.

Claire ChowClaire Chow

Statistics and Data Science
University of Notre Dame

Research area interest: statistical disclosure limitation, missing data sets, clinical trial design and analysis

Long-term research goal: As the era of information and technology continues to dominate, big data offers tremendous benefits for education, medical research, national security, and other areas through data-driven decision making, discovery and process optimization. However, one of the crucial concerns is the extreme risk of exposing personal information of individuals who contribute to the data when sharing it among collaborators or releasing it publically. My solution involves statistical disclosure limitation (SDL), or methods of data privacy and confidentiality. This will preserve participant privacy without altering the integrity of the original data by creating multiple, synthetic data from predicted values using Bayesian Statistics.

Elizabeth MamantovElizabeth Mamantov

Machine Learning, Adaptation, and Intelligence
University of Michigan

Research area interest: embodied cognition, robotics, cognitive architecture

Long-term research goal: The goal of my research is to equip robots with the cognitive skills they need to handle real-world environments in an intelligent, human-like fashion. It is fascinating that, despite years of AI research, robots are consistently confounded when confronted with the complexities of the real world. I am interested in leveraging the reasoning powers of a cognitive architecture to improve the way an embodied agent interacts with its environment.

Ghazal FazelniaGhazal Fazelnia

Large-scale distributed computing
Columbia University

Research area interest: optimization, parallel computing, cloud computing, and machine learning

Long-term research goal: I am very interested in conducting fundamental research on interdisciplinary problems at the intersection of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering. On the application side, my current focus is on communication systems, energy networks, and large-scale dynamical systems. I primarily work on the computational aspects of these systems, such as resource allocation using distributed algorithms, compressed sensing, and optimal decentralized controller design. This research has a strong engineering component and as a solid mathematical element that relies on algebraic graph theory, nonlinear optimization, and control theory, among others.

Nan-Chen ChenNan-Chen Chen

Human Centered Design and Engineering
University of Washington

Research area interest: human-computer interaction, visualization

Long-term research goal: My research is focused on human-computer interaction. I am interested in building visual analytics tools to help people better understand data. In addition, I am passionate on developing technologies to support collaboration. My long-term goal is to bridge the gaps between disciplines so that people from different fields could easier work together to solve problems in the world.

Sruthi PolaliSruthi Polali

Hardware Devices
Rice University

Research area interest: nanoelectronics and nanoscale device fabrication

Long-term research goal: My main research focus is to characterize, modify, and enhance the properties of two-dimensional nanostructures based on grapheme, in order to make them more suitable for applications in the field of electronics and solar cells. For this purpose, I propose to use atomic scale imaging techniques such as the scanning tunneling microscope. My work will provide insight into the physical and electronic structure of the grapheme based materials upon modification at a local scale with atomic precision.

Tesca FitzgeraldTesca Fitzgerald

Machine Learning, Adaptation, and Intelligence
Georgia Institute of Technology

Research area interest: artificial intelligence, cognitive science, human-robot interaction

Long-term research goal: In the endeavor to improve robots to a point where they can behave and think as humans do, it is increasingly important to discover how humans reason and acquire skills. I am exploring how advances in cognitive science can impact how we interact with robots to develop innovative, intelligent systems. In particular, I aspire to develop analogical reasoning in the robotics research field, thus expanding the effectiveness of learning from human-robot interactions.

Yunmeng BanYunmeng Ban

Data Management and Data Mining
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Research area interest: big data analytics, database systems, distributed systems

Long-term research goal: I plan to continue working on big data analytics in distributed systems and in cloud environments. Motivated by the needs of low-latency analytics and scalability of cluster computing, I plan to focus on the development of new platforms and techniques that can scale analytics to large data sizes while at the same time being able to return new results and insights with low latency. I hope that such scalable, low-latency analytics will benefit many users ranging from traditional data-intensive applications to new data-driven scientific disciplines such as social science and genomics.

2013 Graduate Women Scholars

Danqi ChenDanqi Chen

Computer Science
Stanford University

Research area interest: machine learning, data mining

Long-term research goal: I would like to aim my future research in the field of machine learning and its applications to a range of domains including language processing, information retrieval, and social networks.

Lilian de Greef

Computer Science and Engineering
University of Washington, Seattle

Research area interest: ubiquitous computing

Long-term research goal: I want to work at the intersection of multiple disciplines to develop technologies that beneficially impact people's lives. For example, I am currently working with computer vision, HCI, machine learning, and medicine to use smartphones to detect dangerous levels of jaundice, or yellowing of the skin, in newborns.  

Dongjing HeDongjing He

Computer Science Department
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Research area interest: compute security; mobility and networking

Long-term research goal: My research aims to provide the general population with affordable and convenient access to the healthcare systems. I will focus on defining an open sensor system for mHealth in order to help users secure their medical data. This scholarship will help me focus on research that I hope will generate significant outcomes and impact the future of healthcare.

Jennifer IglesiasJennifer Iglesias

Mathematics
Carnegie Mellon University

Research area interest: algorithms, combinatorics, and optimization

Long-term research goal: I would like to continue working in areas relating to graph theory and algorithms, in particular, I would like to improve on current approximation algorithms for NP-Hard problems.

Jing WangJing Wang

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Northwestern University

Research area interest: perceptually based image processing

Long-term research goal: I plan to work on image analysis techniques based on models of human perception. The human visual system is amazingly good at analyzing images and extracting useful information, and thus provides inspiration, feasibility clues, and performance goals. In particular, I am interested in developing statistical techniques for visual texture analysis and the extraction of material properties.

Support via the Graduate Women Scholarship will allow me to devote all my time to my research at what I expect to be a critical point in my graduate career. The scholarship support for attending academic conferences will also contribute to advancing my academic development by enabling me to learn about cutting-edge techniques in my field.

Meghan ClarkMeghan Clark

Computer Science and Engineering
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Research area interest: embedded systems, ubiquitous computing, security

Long-term research goal: I would like to explore the potential for embedded systems to enable major advancements in quality of life and environmental interactions. In particular, I see opportunities for impact in remote health and science in developing regions, responsive and energy-efficient buildings, and networks that are quick and cheap to deploy in areas with limited Internet connectivity. Additionally, as sensor-based applications become more and more integrated with our lives, I would like to investigate ways of providing useful sensor-based services while preserving privacy.

Morgan VigilMorgan Vigil

Computer Science
University of California, Santa Barbara

Research area interest: wireless networks, information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D)

Long-term research goal: I want to develop holistic connectivity solutions for under-resourced communities with limited connections to the Internet. My chief goal is to develop wireless networks that promote information contribution and production in addition to information consumption. In particular, I am interested in making last mile connections as effective as possible for knowledge sharing and educational purposes.

Natasha JaquesNatasha Jaques

Computer Science Department
University of British Columbia

Research area interest: artificial intelligence, human computer interaction, machine learning

Long-term research goal: For a truly advanced artificial intelligence to interact with a human, it must be able to perceive information from the many implicit communication channels used in everyday conversation. I would like to make use of methods for reasoning in the face of uncertainty, as well as machine learning, to build an emotionally perceptive artificial intelligence that can interact in a manner similar to a human. I believe this could have many beneficial applications, from Intelligent Tutoring Systems, to assistive technologies, to helping individuals suffering from autism spectrum disorders.

Parisa Khanipour RoshanParisa Khanipour Roshan

Interactive Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology

Research area interest: online communities, social support, social change

Long-term research goal: I am interested in studying how we can use online tools to support disconnected individuals who are part of the same community, whether it is a pre-existing community, like the survivors of abuse, or an emerging one, such as social media spontaneous volunteers during a crisis.

Radhika MittalRadhika Mittal

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
University of California, Berkeley

Research area interest: computer networks, machine learning

Long-term research goal: I am interested in Internet research. What excites me about this research area is that the Internet was developed in a rather ad-hoc manner, where people kept iterating over existing solutions as demands changed. Now, with ever-increasing traffic and evolving technologies, there is a tremendous scope of improvement and I would like to make a significant contribution to it.

2012 Graduate Women Scholars

Danielle BraggDanielle Bragg

Computer Science Department
Princeton University

Research area interest: human-computer interaction

Long-term research goal: I am particularly interested in interactive systems involving music and machine learning. I aim to develop systems that improve people's lives in meaningful ways.

Elizabeth MuraneElizabeth Murname

Information Science Department
Cornell University

Research area interest: human-computer interaction

Long-term research goal: I want to help people remember, find, understand, and create information via personalized and adaptive interfaces. My principle goal is to study how systems can be made more aware of a user's attributes, task context, and social connections in order to generate and refine long-term semantic models about an individual's abilities, interests, and intentions that can be applied to intelligent systems. I am particularly interested in applications in the domains of recommender systems and example-centric problem solving.

Emily SergelEmily Leven

Mathematics Department
University of California, San Diego 

Research area interest: algebraic dombinatorics

Long-term research goal: I would like to build bridges between algebra and combinatorics by making use of results in both fields to solve questions in areas of common interest, such as in the theory of symmetric functions.

Jennifer TownsendJennifer Townsend

Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization (Mathematics)
Georgia Institute of Technology

Research area interest: theory and complexity applications in social choice/preference theory

Long-term research goal: I want to aim my research towards a field where I can do more computation work while simultaneously studying fascinating theoretical mathematical puzzles. I'd love to end up working in preference prediction and network theory.

Joanna DrummondJoanna Drummond

Computer Science Department
University of Toronto

Research area interest: decision making under uncertainty, computational economics

Long-term research goal: My overall research goal is to develop models and algorithms that allow people and organizations to make optimal decisions with partial information (for example, uncertainty about the environment or incomplete preference information) in real-world settings. I am particularly interested in bringing together insights from economics, machine learning, and algorithm design to solve these types of problems.

Kaitlin SpeerKaitlin Speer

Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics Department
Northwestern University

Research area interest: mathematical biology, climate modeling

Long-term research goal: I hope to apply analytical and computational methods to analyzing models concerning the Earth's cryosphere, in particular, the effects of the varied reflectivity of the ice and water. In doing so, as well as in further research, I hope to shed light on the mathematical and physical properties of tipping points present in many complex systems.

Valkyrie SavageValkyrie Savage

Computer Science
University of California, Berkeley

Research area interest: human-computer interaction

Long-term research goal: I am hoping to explore 3-D printing and how it can be made more accessible and useful: for example, through the design of printable electronics and re-imagining of user interfaces for 3-D modeling. That manufacturing and design knowledge gain a new foothold among hobbyists and youth is critically important for keeping jobs in the country and encouraging personal learning and growth.

Vanessa SochatVanessa Sochat

Biomedical Informatics Program
Stanford University

Research area interest: using machine learning and computational methods for neuroimaging analysis

Long-term research goal: I aspire to work on data-driven methods that combine multi-modal neuroimaging data to provide insight to the structure and function of the human brain. My long-term goal is to develop infrastructure to allow for semantic accessibility of imaging data, and tools that might be utilized to identify biomarkers of neurological disease.

Veronica CateteVeronica Catete

Computer Science Department
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Research area interest: educational video games, games for learning

Long-term research goal: I hope to develop polished and engaging video games that facilitate learning. I have a particular interest in developing games that teach programming and other creative problem solving skills to middle school students in order to increase interest in computer science among underrepresented groups with hopes of strengthening the computer science and STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] pipeline. I also want to see my current middle school programs expanded to the high school level via an AP Computer Science course that we are developing at UNC Charlotte. I think it would be cool to see my work/research being used in real classrooms, helping the teachers make learning fun.

Yubin KimYubin Kim

Language Technologies Institute, School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University

Research area interest: information retrieval

Long-term research goal: I would like contribute to a better search experience for users everywhere by developing better search techniques suited for different domains, such as microblogs, and exploring novel ways to present the results of a search.

2011 Graduate Women Scholars

Lacey Best-RowdenLacey Best-Rowden

Computer Science Department
Michigan State University

Research area interest: algorithms and networking

Long-term research goal: I would like to aim my future research towards discovering solutions to challenging problems that are important to society and about which I am passionate. I also see myself contributing to computer science education research, particularly with regards to new and better methods for integrating computer science into core curriculum for high school students.

Vivienne GrovesVivienne Groves

Economics Department
Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

Research area interest: market design

Long-term research goal: I hope to use tools in stochastic process and operations research to develop models in efficient market design. In particular, I am interested in how theoretical models in microeconomics can be used to explain human behavior, help solve social welfare problems, improve political institutions, and design more efficient methods for raising government revenue.

Tingting JiangTingting Jiang

Computer Science Department
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Research area interest: cyber security, network anomaly detection, and forensics

Long-term research goal: The goal of my research is to develop a novel security framework for networked computers that provides robust defense against malware attacks and is difficult for malware to circumvent. Specifically, my research will focus on modeling and characterization of human-user behaviors, developing protocols for fine-grained traffic-input analysis, and preventing forgeries and attacks by malware.

Farah JumaFarah Juma

Computer Science Department
University of Toronto

Research area interest: artificial intelligence—knowledge representation and reasoning

Long-term research goal: My long-term objective is to pursue a career in research in the field of artificial intelligence, where my research can be applied to challenging real-world problems. I find artificial intelligence to be an exciting field because of its interdisciplinary nature. Application areas where I would like to have an impact include electronic commerce and medicine. I am especially inspired by collaboration between researchers in the field of artificial intelligence and the field of computational biology that aims to tackle problems that profoundly affect people’s lives.

Ann LeeAnn Lee

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research area interest: speech and natural language processing

Long-term research goal: I would like to dedicate my work to improving machines’ abilities in understanding humans. Making machines easier to communicate with and behave more like humans are my research goals.

Mengmeng LiMengmeng Li

Computer Science Department
University of Pittsburgh

Research area interest: computer/information security

Long-term research goal: I would like to pursue research in the IT field, and contribute to the development of communication security.

Jamie MorgensternJamie Morgenstern

Computer Science Department
Carnegie Mellon University

Research area interest: game theory and logic

Long-term research goal: I hope to use techniques from logic and programming languages to develop general frameworks in which to describe and prove properties of games and mechanisms.

Justine SherryJustine Sherry

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
University of California, Berkeley

Research area interest: computer networks

Long-term research goal: I have a broad interest in networking, specifically in inter-domain, wide area settings. I am particularly excited about Internet measurement, network architecture, and network security.

Kateryna KuksenokKateryna Kuksenok

Computer Science and Engineering Department
University of Washington, Seattle

Research area interest: human-computer interaction; natural language processing

Long-term research goal: I am interested in studying how Human Computer Interaction techniques can improve Natural Language Processing applications. In the domain of machine translation, for example, NLP algorithms can be very effective at translating literal meanings, but struggle with interpreting cultural cues that are embedded in text. Feedback from end-user communities with appropriate domain knowledge can augment the results of machine translation in such situations. By exploring visualization techniques and support for active learning in NLP applications, I hope to find novel ways of enabling people to engage with information.

Sonal VermaSonal Verma

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Research area interest: wireless, embedded, and networked systems

Long-term research goal: At the University of Michigan, our team is working to create an ecosystem of phone-centric, square-inch footprint sensors that will be useful in both mobile health care and as reference designs for a broader community. We aim to demonstrate the possibility of parasitically powering external peripherals and transferring data to and from a mobile device, such as a Windows smartphone using only its audio headset port. This work will marry low-power sensing with the mobile phone’s computation, communications, and display technologies focused on transforming mobile phones into leading-edge data collection devices. We hope that our effort will make headway for the integration of other sensing peripherals for monitoring blood pressure, blood glucose, and body temperature with the mobile phone. It may be a small but important step towards enabling mobile healthcare technology for delivering accurate medical information anytime anywhere.

2010 Graduate Women Scholars

Adriana Lopez
New York University

Ailar Javadi
Georgia Institute of Technology

Ariel Levavi
University of California, San Diego

Arthi Ramachandran
Columbia University

Azalia Mirhoseini
Rice University

Betelhem Mateos Mekisso
Oklahoma State University

Eleanor O'Rourke
University of Washington, Seattle

Gabriela Marcu
Carnegie Mellon University

Jinyan Guan
University of Arizona

Olga Turanova
University of Chicago

2009 Graduate Women's Scholarship Recipients

Xide Lin
University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

Laura Grupp
University of California – San Diego

America Holloway
University of California – Irvine

Jing-Jing Liu
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jin Joo Lee
Georgia Institute of Technology

Dafna Shahaf
Carnegie Mellon University

Michaela Goetz
Cornell University

Tamara Denning
University of Washington

Meromit Singer
University of California – Berkeley

Katrina Panovich
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Questions