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NCSA Awards 24 Fiddler Innovation Fellowships to Illinois Students, Faculty

Abstract blue, grey and pink halftone pattern with a centered Block I logo and navy Fiddler Innovation text. A navy rectangle contains the word Fellowship in white text.

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications recognized 24 University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign students and faculty for their outstanding accomplishments in various fields of academic research. 

The group of nearly two dozen received Fiddler Innovation Fellowship awards which are part of a $2 million endowment from Jerry Fiddler and Melissa Alden to UIUC in support of student and faculty interdisciplinary research initiatives through the Illinois Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media (eDream) Institute at NCSA.

I am always amazed at the ingenuity and innovation demonstrated by these fellowship award winners. The Fiddler Innovation Fellowship is more than funding for interdisciplinary projects. The program fosters an environment for big ideas and spurs collaboration by giving fellows the opportunity to utilize NCSA’s computing resources and work with acclaimed academic, community and industry leaders. We are thankful for Jerry Fiddler and Melissa Alden’s generous contributions in supporting innovation, collaboration and idea-driven research through this fellowship program.

Bill Gropp, NCSA Director

The awards affirm the outstanding achievements and interdisciplinary contributions to NCSA student programs Students Pushing Innovation (SPIN), Research Experiences for Undergraduates FoDOMMaT (The Future of Discovery: Training Students to Build and Apply Open Source Machine Learning Models and Tools) and Design for America during the 2021-22 academic year and summer of 2022.

“It was amazing to hear that this recognition motivates our students and scholars even more to work on interdisciplinary and socially impactful projects in a search for solutions that may lay outside of existing disciplinary boundaries,” says Olena Kindratenko, a senior research coordinator at NCSA. “I hope our students will continue through their lives to be excited about exploring new ideas and pushing those boundaries.”

Jerry Fiddler congratulated and spoke with Canty and other fellowship awardees at a virtual awards ceremony October 24 in which recipients had a chance to share their experience and what the recognition meant to them.

“I’m extremely honored to be receiving the Fiddler Innovation Fellowship award,” said Jared Canty, a SPIN intern. “There’s one thing about the SPIN program every prospective participant should know: If you enjoy learning and like the idea of learning from some of the greatest minds on campus, then the SPIN program is where you should be!”

2022 Fiddler Innovation Fellowship Awardees

Fiddler Innovation Undergraduate Fellows:

  • Joe Luo, SPIN
  • Boda Song, SPIN
  • Xinyi Huang, SPIN
  • Yiwen Miao, SPIN
  • Joshmita Chintala, SPIN
  • Shane Wu, SPIN
  • Chenhui Zhang, SPIN
  • Jared Canty, SPIN
  • Benjamin Evanoff, SPIN
  • Anushka Gami, SPIN
  • Aaron Alberg, Design for America
  • Ella Dennis, Design for America
  • Jaden Ambrocio, Design for America
  • Aayush Patel, Design for America
  • Sonia Neelangatil, Design for America
  • Mahir Thakkar, Design for America
  • Tanisha Gajjar, Design for America
  • Tej Parmar, Design for America
  • Morgan Cosillo, REU FoDOMMaT
  • Gabe Tavas, TEC Fiddler Innovation Fellow

Fiddler Innovation Graduate Fellowship

  • Colter Wehmeier, Ph.D. student in Art and Cultural Informatics at School of Information Sciences

Fiddler Innovation Scholar Fellows:

  • Holly Tuten, Illinois Natural History Survey
  • Chris Stone, Illinois Natural History Survey
  • Anita Chan, Department of Media and Cinema Studies, iSchool
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