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Encouraging More Women to Pursue CS Studies
January 28, 2011 12:29 PM PT

It is no secret that computer science needs more women. Historically, women have been woefully underrepresented in the field, and Microsoft Research, among others, is committed to helping encourage and support women interested in pursuing a career in computing.

Thus, we are delighted to announce the recipients of the 2011 Microsoft Research Graduate Women’s Scholarships. Recipients of this honor represent institutions of higher learning from coast to coast, and each has displayed a sincere passion for technology that has the potential to transform our future. This year’s recipients:

  • Lacey Best-Rowden, of Michigan State University.
  • Vivienne Groves, of Stanford University.
  • Tingting Jiang, of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
  • Farah Juma, of the University of Toronto.
  • Kateryna Kuksenok, of the University of Washington.
  • Ann Lee, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Mengmeng Li, of the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Jamie Morgenstern, of Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Justine Sherry, of the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Sonal Verma, of the University of Michigan.

These 10 women have been selected from the many applicants for this year’s scholarships, a one-year program—organized by Jane Prey, Microsoft Research senior research program manager—for outstanding women graduate students. The program, which supports women in the second year of their graduate studies, is designed specifically to help increase the number of women pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science.

“Microsoft Research understands the value of diversity of thought in producing high-quality research,” Prey said upon the announcement of the recipients of this year’s scholarships, which were inaugurated in 2009. “We want to be part of the solution that brings more gender diversity to the community. Enabling early-career graduate women to focus on research earlier can not only benefit them, but benefit all of us.

Scholarship recipients, who must apply during the first year of their graduate studies, are awarded $15,000, which is applied toward their graduate programming for the 2011-’12 academic year, and a $2,000 allowance to be applied to conference fees and travel.

For more details, see Graduate Women’s Scholarship Program. For information on current and former recipients, see Graduate Women’s Scholarship Recipients.