Scholars of Excellence
Chih Foundation Research & Publication Award
The Chih Foundation recognizes groundbreaking research with transformative potential to greatly benefit society. The award seeks to support exceptional third- or fourth-year Science, Engineering or Medicine PhD, PharmD, or MD students. Through their generosity, the Chih Foundation Research & Publication Award provides a $2,500 monetary award to exemplary scholars who reflect these qualities.
The application deadline for consideration is in early October of each year. For more information, please contact Karissa Valine-Plaza in the Office of Graduate Studies.
2022 Chih Foundation Research & Publication Award Recipients
Christian Brown (Integrative Biology)
Mentor: Stephen Deban, Ph.D.
"Christian’s research interests include the movements of amphibians, especially plethodontid salamanders, ranging from fine-scale biomechanics of locomotion to dispersal at the ecosystem level. Ultimately, his work examines the life history of amphibians in the broader context of ecological and evolutionary theory with the goal of increasing awareness for conservation.
Skeptics of evolution once asked Charles Darwin, “what use is half a wing?” Like evolution, the origin of animal flight has long been debated. While the debate continues, the directed aerial descent of wingless salamanders confirms the idea that life in the trees can spur flight. Wandering salamanders (Aneides vagrans) reside in the crowns of coast redwood trees, the tallest trees on the planet; how they manage to move through the canopy to locate mates and resources or avoid predators is not well understood. This research takes a comparative approach to studying how A. vagrans handles the biomechanical challenges of navigating in and jumping from its extreme arboreal niche.
Results reveal how drag is useful for supporting the body weight of modern flying animals ranging from ‘entry level’ wingless salamanders to fully fledged birds. This new appreciation of the full spectrum of wingless to winged body plans that can all aerodynamically support body weight continuously boosts our understanding of the evolution of flight."
Visit Mr. Brown's website for additional information.
Salman Sadiq Shuvo (Electrical Engineering)
Mentor: Yasin Yilmaz, Ph.D.
"Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) is a popular Machine Learning technique for optimization and resource allocation tasks. DRL techniques require a simulated environment to capture the stochasticity of real-world complex systems. This uncertainty in future transitions makes the planning authorities doubt real-world implementation success. My projects on environmental, healthcare, and energy systems focus on appropriate system dynamics modeling and state-of-the-art DRL techniques for experimental analysis. In the process, I have developed novel DRL (Multi-agent and Multi-objective) algorithms."
|Melissa Bikowitz||Molecular Medicine||Morsani College|
|Ausmita Sarker||Computer Science & Engineering||College of Engineering|
|Veena Subramanian||Cell Biology, Microbiology, & Molecular Biology||College of Arts & Sciences|
|Michael Sacco||Molecular Medicine||Morsani College of Medicine|
|Karthick Mayilsamy||Molecular Medicine||Morsani College of Medicine|
|Anthony Sanchez||Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology||College of Arts and Sciences|
|Jeremy Baker||Molecular Medicine||Morsani College of Medicine|
|Bi Zhao||Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology||College of Arts and Sciences|
|Longwei Wang||Electrical Engineering||College of Engineering|
|Mengqiu Wang||Marine Science||College of Marine Science|
|Andy Weiss||Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology||College of Arts and Sciences|