Roundup: EECS student honors and awards, 2019-2020

EECS PhD students Yuanming Hu (left) and Dimitris Tsipras received Facebook Fellowship Awards in January 2020.

EECS Staff

EECS undergraduates and graduate students regularly win major scholarships, fellowships, and awards. Following is a sampling of EECS student honors between September 2019 and August 2020


Facebook Fellows: Two EECS graduate students were announced as recipients of Facebook Fellowship Awards in January 2020. Yuanming Hu received a fellowship in computer graphics, while Dimitris Tsipras received a fellowship in machine learning. The award covers tuition and fees for up to two academic years of PhD study and includes a $42,000, which includes support for conference travel. 00, which includes conference travel support.

MathWorks Fellows: EECS graduate students Alireza Fallah and Paul Zhang received MathWorks Fellowships in January 2020. They were among 11 School of Engineering PhD students who received the fellowships for students who are active users of the MATLAB or Simulink programming environments.

Rising Stars in EECS: Two EECS PhD students —  Andrea Lincoln and Emily Toomey — were among four MIT women selected to participate in the prestigious Rising Stars in EECS 2019 academic-careers workshop at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in late 2019.

Rhodes Scholars: Three EECS students are among five from MIT who named to the 2020 cohort of the Rhodes Scholarship program in November 2019. Francisca Vasconcelos, Billy Andersen Woltz, and Megan Yamoah will begin fully funded postgraduate studies at Oxford University in the U.K. in the fall of 2020.

Schwarzman Scholars: EECS seniors Adedoyin Olateru-Olagbegi and Jessica Quaye, along with alumna Jessica Wang ’16, MEng, were named to the 2020-2021 cohort of Schwarzman Scholars in December 2019. They will join other Schwarzman Scholars from around the world in Beijing, China, in August 2020, when they’ll begin a one-year master’s-degree program in global affairs at Tsinghua University.

Siebel Scholars: Five EECS graduate students — Katie Bacher, Enric Boix, M. Doga Dugan, Kyungmi Lee, and Clinton Wang — were among 16 from MIT named to the 2020 cohort of Siebel Scholars in October 2019. Honored for their academic achievements, leadership, and commitments to addressing crucial global challenges, Siebel Scholars each receive an award of $35,000 to cover their final year of study.


Joshua H. Alman SM’16, PhD’19 received the Distinguished Dissertation Award from the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS) for his MIT doctoral dissertation “Linear Algebraic Techniques in Algorithms and Complexity” in April 2020. Alman’s research was co-supervised by Ryan Williams and Virginia Williams, Associate Professors of EECS.

Arturs Backurs SM ’14, PhD ’18, received the Doctoral Dissertation Award from the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS) for his MIT doctoral dissertation “NP: Fine-Grained Hardness for Big Data Problems” in July 2019.

Weston D Braun BS ’17, MEng ’18, received the second prize paperwork award for 2020 from the Editorial Board of the Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics (JESTPE) in July 2020.

Matthew Brennan BS ‘ 16, SM ’18, received the Best Student Paper Award at the the 2020 Conference on Learning Theory (COLT) in July for his paper, titled “Reducibility and Statistical-Computational Gaps from Secret Leakage”.

Yu-Hsin Chen SM ’13, PhD ’18, won the 2019 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group in Computer Architecture (SIGARCH) and the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Computer Architecture (TCCA). The work, titled “Architecture Design for Highly Flexible and Energy-Efficient Deep Neural Network Accelerators,” previously won the EECS Jin-Au Kong Award for Best PhD Thesis in Electrical Engineering. Chen was advised by Vivienne Sze, associate professor of EECS, and Joel Emer, professor of the practice in EECS.

EECS PhD candidate Peter Li received first place in the ACM Student Research Competition at the 2019 ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO) for his contributions to “A Mutual Information Accelerator of Autonomous Robot Exploration.” Co-authors and advisors include Sze and Sertac Karaman, an associate professor in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Tzu-Mao Li SM ’13, PhD ’19. received the 2020 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Association for Computing Machinery(ACM) Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) for his MIT doctoral dissertation “Differentiable Visual Computing” in June 2020.

Amr Suleiman SM ’13, PhD ’18, won the Best Student Paper Award at the 2019 Symposium on VLSI Circuits for the paper titled “Navion: A Fully Integrated Energy-Efficient Visual-Inertial Odometry Accelerator for Autonomous Navigation of Nano Drones.” This work was also featured in MIT Technology Review. Co-authors include Zhengdong Zhang SM ’14, PhD ’19, Karaman, Sze, and Luca Carlone, an assistant professor in AeroAstro.

Jiajun Wu SM ’16, PhD ’20, was selected for an honorable mentioned from Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) 2019 Doctoral Dissertation Award for his dissertation, titled “Learning to See the Physical World” in July 2020. Wu was advised by William Freeman, Thomas and Gerd Perkins Professor of EECS.

Jonathan Zong SM ’20, received the third prize in the 2020 Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Aarts at MIT in June 2020.

Updated July 17, 2020. Please send information about EECS student and alumni awards to

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