Leslie Cook, a computer science graduate student at Midwestern State University, was one of only 11 students in the world to be awarded the prestigious Computing Fellowship.
It is called the Computing Machinery Special Interest Group Association on High Performance Computing Computation and Data Science Fellowships.
“I am still a little shocked that I was selected as one of the SIGHPC recipients out of all the people who applied from anywhere in the world,” Cook said.
She was nominated by her research advisor, Eduardo Colmenares, Associate Professor of Computer Science, and recommended by Preet Sharma, Assistant Professor of Physics.
Colmenares acknowledged the competitive fellowships she received, including Cook’s curriculum, her work at MSU Texas, her excellent grades, and her participation in Colmenares’ High Performance Computing and Deep Learning research group and other research groups. Said it helped secure it.
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“In 2022, only 11 students from all over the world will be awarded fellowships, some of them from larger Tier 1 institutions,” he said.
Fellowship includes a $15,000 cash award renewable for up to two additional years, a certificate to commemorate achievement, and travel support to the Supercomputing 2022 Conference in Dallas in November, with conference awards Awarded at ceremony.
According to Colmenares, the conference is one of the most important HPC conferences in the world.
Cook said he didn’t even understand what the fellowship meant for his education, future career, and himself.
“As a single mother, the financial support of a fellowship is immeasurable, so I have a little more leeway and ability to support my family with a little less student debt and stress while I finish my studies,” she said. .
Cook has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and is pursuing a master’s degree in computer science. The award of the fellowship gave him confidence in his decision to change course.
“Moving to another field of study is not necessarily the easiest path, but I am confident it was the right choice. This fellowship has reduced any doubts I may have had previously.” she said.
Cook hopes the fellowship will open up more career opportunities.
“This summer I hope to start an internship at one of the national laboratories working with the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense,” she said.
Colmenares said the news was important not only for Cook, but for the university.
“This achievement not only puts our department and university on the map, but also puts its name right next to some Tier 1 institutions,” he said.
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Others who have received fellowships include students from larger institutions, including Brown University. University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. University of Toronto; Tufts University; Northwestern University; University of California, Berkeley. Boston University; Australian and German Universities;
As a nontraditional student who returned to college as a single mother 12 years after graduating from high school, Cook said her accomplishments have inspired other women, mothers, and young people to learn and grow and pursue their goals. I hope that you will never stop
“My hope is that I can inspire other women and mothers to pursue their dreams and be persistent. So that we can be the change we want to see in the world, take up space and help men be very We need to diversify the dominant STEM fields.
STEM refers to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Earlier this year, Cook was selected for a biomedical research internship at the National Institutes of Health, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.
Cook interned in the Biomedical Informatics Division of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Intramural Research Program, where he helped analyze more than 20 years of patient medical data.