Scholarships take graduate students abroad
Graduate school is a big expense, but one scholarship fund is literally making it worth students’ while.
Chuong Nguyen, OU Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate student, is in Hong Kong for a week as the latest beneficiary of the T.H. Lee Williams International Scholarship.
Nguyen is presenting his research project at the International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP) and said he appreciates the technical feedback he gets from experts there.
“My research project aims to find algorithms/methods to mimic the way human process visual information, i.e., images or videos,” Nguyen said in an e-mail.
The scholarship pays half the costs, up to $1,800, for students to attend an international conference. The students’ college or department must match that amount for a total of up to $3,600, according to their scholarships’ website.
In its second year, the scholarship has already allowed nine students to attend conferences in India, France, Singapore, Italy, Sweden, Australia, Denmark, Spain and China.
Graduate students from any department can apply.
Chemistry graduate research assistant Gopal Abbineni attended a December conference at the Indian Institute of Technology in Guwahati, India. His research focuses on genetic modification of bacteriophages and their biomedical applications.
Abbineni said students should not underestimate the value of face time at these conferences.
“When graduate students present their research in international conferences, they usually receive lots of attention from world-renowned scientists,” Abbineni said.
Abbineni has been invited to speak at Andhra University in Andrapradesh, India. He also was invited back to speak again at the Indian Institute of Technology after he completes his doctoral degree.
This conference opened up several other opportunities to Akiko Yoshida, as well. After presenting her dissertation at one of the most prestigious international conferences in the field of sociology, the International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology, she said she “was informally invited to sit in panels at other conferences and to submit [her] papers to academic journals and conferences in Japan and other countries.”
T. H. Lee Williams said the program aims to give students more opportunities to present their work at OU internationally.
“Students do not aspire to put in papers for major conferences because they worry about the expenses involved in going and believe they cannot go,” Williams said.
This up-to-$3,600 scholarship only requires that the conferences students present at are internationally prestigious events. The Graduate College pays for half of the trip and asks the student’s department to come up with the funding for the other half.
The next scholarship deadline is Oct. 15.
Recent scholarship conferences
Chuong Nguyen Electrical & Computer Engineering July 2010 Conference: International Conference on Image Processing in Hong Kong.
Paper: "Modulation Doman Texture Decomposition"
Jonathan Mui Zoology July 2010 Conference: International Congress of Neuroethology in Salamanca, Spain
Paper: "Regional distributions of active spinal cord neurons during four fictive behaviors"