The Association for Computing Machinery's (ACM) Special Interest Group on High-Performance Computing (SIGHPC) has named School of Computer Science master's student Shefali Umrania a 2017 ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational and Data Science fellow. She is one of 12 graduate students worldwide to receive the award.
Umrania earned her B.S. at the Illinois Institute of Technology and is currently pursuing an master's in computational biology at CMU. As part of her work, she's performing research with Computer Science Professor Tai-Sing Lee in the Central for Neural Basis of Cognition to understand the computational principles underlying biological vision. Her work, in particular, uses neurophysiological principles to advance machine learning and computer vision algorithms.
Through the fellowship, Umrania will receive $15,000 annually to support her graduate studies. She will also receive travel support to attend SIGHPC's flagship SC17 conference this November in Denver.
The fellowship, funded by Intel, aims to provide women and students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds with graduate educational opportunities in computer science fields. Nominees from disciplines ranging from finance to robotics were selected by graduate advisors and evaluated by a panel of experts based on their potential for excellence in data science and computational science.
"The demographics of the computing workplace aren't going to change unless we make some critical investments," said Cherri Pancake, vice president of the ACM and a professor and Intel Faculty Fellow in electrical engineering and computer science at Oregon State University. "We are grateful to Intel for their leadership in working with ACM to make these fellowships a reality."