K2I awards record number of fellowships

By Patrick Kurp
Special to the Rice News

With the aid of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology (K2I), 15 graduate students at Rice have been awarded fellowships for their research and educational achievements in computational science and engineering, and high-performance computing.

This represents four more fellowships than were given by K2I last year, and 10 more than in 2011, and all are funded by the energy industry or the annual Oil & Gas HPC Workshop. This year, K2I received more than 50 fellowship nominations and presented a record number of fellowships and the largest amount of funding it has ever given ($120,000).

Rice's Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology 2013 graduate fellows are, from left: (back row) Eleazar Marquez, MEMS; Caleb Fast, CAAM; Ellis Giles, ECE; Zhuhua Cai, CS; (middle row) David Medina, CAAM, Milind Chabbi, CS; Kuldeep Singh, CS; Lei Fu, Earth Science; Jie Hou, Earth Science; (front row) Jizhou Li, CAAM; Rajesh Gandham, CAAM; Golnaz Habibi, CS; Jun Tan, CAAM; and Zhen Wang, CAAM.

“Through the Oil & Gas HPC workshop and engagement with the industry, we’ve brought in revenue of $560,000 since the workshop started in 2008,” said Jan Odegard, executive director of K2I. “Of that amount, we’ve awarded $300,000 in graduate fellowships. We’re now among the top three departments at Rice in terms of fellowship dollars given out.”

Four students will each receive a $10,000 fellowship sponsored by the annual Rice Oil & Gas HPC Workshop: Rajesh Gandham, computational and applied mathematics (CAAM); David Medina, CAAM; Jizhou Li, CAAM; Milind Chabbi, computer science.

Zheng Wang, CAAM, and Jun Tan, CAAM, each received a $7,500 fellowship from Shell.

Caleb Fast, CAAM, received a $7,500 fellowship from ExxonMobil.

Golnaz Habibi, computer science, received a $7,500 fellowship from Chevron.

Xu Liu, computer science, received a $7,500 fellowship from Numerical Algorithms Group.

Zhuhua Cai, computer science, and Eleazar Marquez, mechanical engineering and materials science, each received a $7,500 fellowship from Schlumberger.

Ellis Giles, electrical and computer engineering, received a $7,500 fellowship from Kennedy-Cray.

Kuldeep Singh, computer science, received a $5,000 fellowship from the Andrew Ladd Memorial Excellence Fund in Computer Science.

Jie Hou and Lei Fu, Earth science, each received a $7,000 fellowship from BP.

“Developing deep connections with the energy industry is a strategic imperative for Rice, and the graduate fellowships provided annually by the local energy industry is testimony to this deepening relationship,” said Moshe Vardi, the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering at Rice and director of K2I.

—Patrick Kurp is a science writer in the George R. Brown School of Engineering.

About Jade Boyd

Jade Boyd is science editor and associate director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.