New fellowships will support graduate students in computer science

Monday, May 26, 2003

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a major grant to the Computer Science Department to support graduate student fellowships. The award--which provides $200,000 a year for three years--is from the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program.

"The GAANN awards are very important to the campus as a source of funding for science and engineering programs," said Ira Pohl, professor and chair of computer science and a principal investigator on the grant.

With the required cost-sharing from UCSC, the funds available to assist graduate students will total $750,000.

"This grant will provide enough funding for full three-year fellowships for six graduate students in our department," Pohl said.

The GAANN program is highly competitive, and only a handful of other computer science departments in the country received such grants this year, Pohl said. Proposals are judged on the basis of the quality of the department and its commitment to graduate students from underrepresented groups.

Several other departments on campus receive funding for graduate students through the GAANN program, including physics, chemistry, biology, and ocean sciences.

The GAANN program is intended to assist graduate students with excellent records who demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue the highest degree available in a field designated as an area of national need. The areas of national need include biology, chemistry, computer and information sciences, engineering, geological science, mathematics, and physics.

"The fellowships can be used both as a recruitment tool to attract the best graduate students to the campus, and to support students who are already here," Pohl said.