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Three Students Earn Marshall Scholarships

By Lakshmi Nambiar


Three MIT students have each received Marshall Scholarships, one of the most prestigious fellowships granted to United States graduates.

As Marshall Scholars, Samidh Chakrabarti G, David M. Foxe ’03, and Alexander D. Wissner-Gross ’03 will be “permitted to attend, all expenses paid, any United Kingdom university for 2 to 3 years of study to read for a degree,” according to a press release written by Professor Linn W. Hobbs, who chairs of the Presidential Committee on Foreign Scholarships.

Hobbs said that the scholarship recognized the well-rounded students of the Institute.

“MIT scholars are known for their command not only of forefront technical fields, but also for their impact of science and technology on society and politics,” he said. “This year’s three scholars-elect are no exception. All have multiple talent and have excelled in multiple fields of endeavor.”

Hobbs also said that the selection process was rigorous. Scholars are chosen from a pool of around 1,000 applicants country-wide. “Applicants need to be an ‘A’ student recommended by their universities, and to have made substantial contributions to their institutions or disciplines, and with promise for substantially contributing to the United States upon their return,” Hobbs said.

Chakrabarti prepares for Oxford

Chakrabarti graduated this past June with a double major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and completed his MEng in EECS as well.

He plans to study the history of science for two years at Oxford University. “I want to learn the history of how scientific ideas have been assimilated into society, especially in contemporary times,” he said. “The public has to process a lot of information about science, and I hope to better educate them, ... helping them make more informed decisions,” said Chakrabarti.

A Burchard Scholarship winner, Samidh won a triple-crown of MIT writing prizes for essay, science and engineering writing. He also led the national organization Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, which conducts research on microgravity.

Foxe seeks philosophy degrees

Foxe, a double major in architecture and music, plans to pursue two Masters of Philosophy degrees at Cambridge University to study the “application of musical paradigms to architectural design.”

“I plan to continue with my education to obtain a professional license as an architect and have music on the side,” Foxe said. “I would like to keep a balance of teaching and practice.”

An MIT Arts Scholar, Foxe has several architectural designs and musical compositions archived in the MIT museum. He was also a member of the Simmons Hall Founders’ Group that worked with architect Stephen Holl to design the living spaces and conceive the culture of the dormitory.

Wissner-Gross has flawless record

A triple major in Physics, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering, Wissner-Gross is graduating this year with a flawless 5.0 grade point average.

He will study physics and biochemistry at either Oxford or Cambridge, planning to focus on the applications of nano-scale science on biology and biotechnology.

“I will return to the U.S. after I finish my studies to obtain a PhD in physics,” Wissner-Gross said. “Ultimately, I am interested in academia, especially information at the nano-scale level. It is all-encompassing in electronic and biological fields.”

Wissner-Gross won first place nationally as part of the Intel Undergraduate Research Award. He is also a member of the Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi honor societies and is a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar. His work in nanotechnology was featured in Business Week in 2001 and in Wired Magazine before he attended MIT. He has two sole-author patents to his name.