EECS students are selected as 2020 Burchard Scholars

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Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 6:00pm

More than a dozen EECS-affiliated students are among 38 selected as Burchard Scholars for 2020, according to the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS).

The selective Burchard Scholars program, named in honor of John Ely Burchard, the first dean of SHASS, recognizes sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated outstanding abilities and academic excellence in some aspect of the humanistic fields — the humanities, arts, and social sciences — as well as in STEM fields.

Over one calendar year, from February to December, the Burchards attend a series of dinner-seminars with distinguished MIT faculty, as well as cultural events in the Boston, Massachusetts, metropolitan area. The experiences provide a challenging, intellectual space in which the scholars further expand their intellectual horizons.

Excellence in both the humanistic and STEM fields

“The Burchard Scholars are an extraordinary group of MIT undergraduates who have demonstrated enthusiasm and aptitude for the humanities, social sciences, or arts,” says Margery Resnick, professor of literature and director of the Burchard program. “Selection is competitive, and the students who are chosen are thoughtful, smart, and grateful for the opportunity to discuss ideas with faculty and fellow students.”

The scholars themselves represent a diverse swath of studies across the Institute. This year, the Burchards come from over a dozen different fields of study, among them biology, anthropology, mechanical engineering, management, and music. What binds the group together is a powerful curiosity about ideas. This year’s selection process was especially competitive, with 100 applicants vying for a spot.

Developing powerful skills

The Burchard Scholars program is designed to provide promising students a challenging and friendly arena in which to develop and hone skills in expressing, critiquing, and debating ideas with peers and mentors. The scholars learn respectful and adaptable approaches for engaging in complex intellectual discussions. 

Many of the MIT students who receive Rhodes, Marshall, and other major scholarships and fellowships are former Burchard Scholars. Most recently, senior Steven Truong, a 2019 Burchard Scholar, was awarded a Marshall Scholarship.

The 2020 EECS-affiliated Burchard Scholars are:

  • Paolo Adajar, junior in mathematical economics, computer science, and public policy
  • Ifeoluwapo Ademolu-Odeneye, sophomore in mathematics with computer science      
  • Hope Dargan, junior in computer science and engineering, and in history
  • Rogerio Guimaraes Jr., junior in electrical engineering and computer science and in linguistics and philosophy
  • Shuli Jones, sophomore in computer science and engineering    
  • Maximillian Langenkamp, junior in electrical engineering and computer science     
  • Bhavik Nagda, junior in computer science and engineering                 
  • Samuel Nitz, junior in computer science and molecular biology 
  • Aaditya Singh, junior in brain and cognitive science and computer science and engineering    
  • Nailah Smith, sophomore in electrical engineering and computer science             
  • Sarah Spector, junior in electrical engineering and computer science, and in Latin American and Latino/a studies
  • Shobhita Sundaram, sophomore in electrical engineering and computer science      

For a full list of 2020 Burchard Scholars, please visit the MIT News website.