Aziza Almanakly and Belinda Li Receive Clare Boothe Luce Graduate Scholarship for Women | MIT News
MIT doctoral students Aziza Almanakly and Belinda Li have been selected as the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (EECS) recipients of the Clare Boothe Luce Graduate Fellowship for Women, an honor designed to encourage and support female graduates. in STEM. The rigorous selection process for this prestigious scholarship took into account both students’ outstanding track records in scientific achievement and research, as well as their contributions to the STEM community.
It is important to note that the scholarships represent the culmination of an intensive effort on the part of the Institute and the EECS department. After MIT was selected by the Clare Boothe Luce for Women in STEM program to submit a full proposal, EECS entered the MIT internal competition and was selected to submit a full application on behalf of the Institute in the national competition organized by the Henry Luce Foundation. Luce Foundation funds, combined with EECS cost-sharing funds, will provide full financial support for a period of two years to Almanakly and Li.
“These scholarships are a powerful affirmation of institutional support for women in STEM,” says Professor Asu Ozdaglar, Head of EECS. “Our commitment to supporting women in STEM goes far beyond attracting the best candidates to our program; We are committed to providing ongoing, concrete support to their research careers once they arrive at MIT. Both Almanakly and Li will postpone the start of their CBL Graduate Scholarships until they complete their current scholarships; both recipients are already gaining attention in the hot technical fields of quantum computing and language modeling.
Second-year PhD student advised by Professor Will Oliver, Aziza Almanakly conducts research on waveguide quantum electrodynamics and microwave quantum optics with superconducting qubits. During the first nine months of his time at MIT, Almanakly successfully demonstrated the controlled and directional generation of single microwave photons on a new qubit chip of his own design – a new achievement and an indicator of his exceptional talent. About Almanakly’s work, Oliver says, “His success is rooted in a combination of raw talent, strong intuition, persistence and a strong desire to improve, his research, his place of work and the life of those around him. I have absolutely no doubt that Aziza will be successful in her research, and I expect her to become a future leader in science and technology. As part of her personal commitment to pass on the mentorship and encouragement she has received, Almanakly teaches quantum computing fundamentals to under-represented high school students through IBM Quantum and The Coding School. Prior to coming to MIT, Almanakly conducted research at New York University, Caltech, City University of New York, and Princeton University. Among other honors, Almanakly won the PD Soros scholarship for new Americans.
Second-year doctoral student advised by Professor Jacob Andreas, Belinda Li conducts research on language models and natural language processing. Li’s interest in language models and natural language processing was fueled by a year spent working with the AI Integrity team at the Facebook group AI Applied Research, where she worked on building detectors. automated hate speech and disinformation. Regarding her work, Li says, “I am interested in the relationship between language models (MLs) and the knowledge they encode: what exactly do LMs know about the outside world? And how can we expand their ability to learn and use this knowledge in a systematic way? More fundamentally, what is the relationship between language / language technologies and society in general? Li’s ambitious research goals took her far in her freshman year at MIT. His advisor Andreas reports: “Despite the start of this year [during the pandemic], Belinda has already made important discoveries about the organization of information in machine learning models trained for language processing tasks … In the six months that she’s here, Belinda has basically started managing her own mini-laboratory. Additionally, Li has taken on the responsibility of mentoring under-represented underrepresented undergraduates as part of the MIT EECS GAAP program. Among many other awards, Li has been named the recipient of the Ida M. Green Memorial Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and the Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. national.
Created by prominent journalist, playwright, ambassador and US MP Clare Boothe Luce, the CBL Women in STEM Program was created “to encourage women to enter, study, graduate and teach” in fields where they are continue to be under-represented, including science, math and engineering. To date, the program has supported more than 2,800 women in the undergraduate, graduate and entry-tenure stages, making the CBL program the most important source of private support for women in science, math and tenure. in engineering in the education superior in the United States.