Graduate Student Awards

Joseph Briggs Receives Graduate Student Teaching Award

Mathematical Sciences Ph.D. candidate Joseph Briggs was honored with the 2018 Hugh Young Graduate Student Teaching Award. He received the prize at the Mellon College of Science Graduate Town Hall in April.

“Joe Briggs embodies everything one could possibly want in a [teaching assistant],” Associate Teaching Professor Deborah Brandon wrote in a letter nominating Briggs for the award. “He is a gifted expositor. He is extremely reliable and very helpful, and he really cares about his students. In addition, he has that rare ability to make the learning experience memorable (in a good way).”

A dozen of Briggs’ former students wrote in to confirm his teaching abilities.

“He just loves math and gets so excited about math concepts and teaching others,” junior Makayla Filiere wrote. “He would solve the problem and be jumping all around, pumped up at how it is that we just solved this problem! To see a TA so passionate about math naturally makes you more excited about it as well.”

Mukund Bapna Receives Graduate Student Research Award

Physics’ Mukund Bapna won the 2018 Guy C. Berry Graduate Student Research Award. He was presented with the prize at the Mellon College of Science Graduate Student Town Hall in April.

“Mukund is a quiet person who does not draw attention to himself, but those who interact with him quickly recognize his abilities,” Bapna’s lab director, Physics Professor Sara Majetich, wrote in nominating him for the prize.

In Majetich’s lab, Bapna’s research has looked at magnetic tunnel junction nanopillars, nanostructures that could be used for more energy efficient computing and data storage. With his “golden hands,” Majetich said Bapna has fabricated devices as small as 15 nanometers in diameter using electron beam lithography and ion milling.

Bapna received his Ph.D. in May and is now heading off to Portland, Oregon, to work for the research and development team at Intel. There he will be developing smart interconnects for nodes under 20 nanometers in size for next generation processors.