By Kimberley Clementi
40 Nobel laureates. A former U.S. Secretary of Energy. A co-founder of Google. This prestigious circle of Graduate Research Fellows selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently grew by three UC San Diego Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) graduate researchers. PhD students Anya Bouzida (BS ’21), Namiko Matsumoto (BS ’21) and Stone Tao (BS ’23) were among those who received fellowships in 2023.
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. The oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, GRFP has supported roughly 50,000 high achievers and life-long leaders since its first class in 1952.
Anya Bouzida earned her undergraduate degree at UC San Diego in cognitive science with a minor in computer science. She was an undergraduate student researcher in the Healthcare Robotics Lab and has returned to the lab as a graduate student researcher advised by Associate Professor Laurel Riek. The goal of Bouzida's research is to define the needs for, and develop adaptive systems alongside the people who will be using them.
CSE alumna Namiko Matsumoto was awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) to continue her research in Machine Learning. Matsumoto is a graduate student researcher at Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute. Prior to that, she was an undergraduate student researcher at System Energy Efficiency (SEE) Lab, working to improve the efficiency of Machine Learning techniques.
CSE alumnus Stone Tao will conduct research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) with this fellowship. His interests include long-horizon problems, especially in robotic manipulation, with the aim of building efficient, adaptable and capable embodied AI. He will continue to be advised by CSE Professor Hao Su. Tao is also the co-founder of the Lux AI Challenge, an open-source AI competition for education and research held in collaboration with Kaggle.