Past Winners

Willie's Story

Willie McClinton
Willie McClinton
Class of Spring 2019
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

Willie McClinton is a proud recipient of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (NIST-SURF). This fellowship allows him access to incredible research opportunities.

"I've learned foundational skills of being a good programmer, but more importantly I am learning how to communicate my ideas and connect with extremely successful people" says Willie. "In my time at NIST, I have learned to not fear: pushing myself to the limit and asking questions. I feel like I am now ready to take the next step toward my future career."

Prior to receiving this fellowship award, Willie worked closely with ONS to identify the best opportunities for his goals. "Dr. Basu, the Director of ONS, recommended the NIST SURF program and assisted me with the application process. I would not have known about the program without his help and I owe a lot of my success to him.

Willie says his most notable achievement at USF is receiving the NIST SURF fellowship. He encourages other students to always reach for seemingly impossible goals.

"Do not underestimate yourself, and always remain surrounded by successful people because success is contagious."

After graduation, Willie is interested in learning how to translate thoughts and actions into a language which machines can understand, while focusing his research on machine learning – specifically in neural networks and general purpose artificial intelligence. His next step is graduate school.

Congratulations, Willie!