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UMSI PhD student awarded Facebook fellowship

Ashwin Rajadesingan

Tuesday, 02/04/2020

UMSI PhD student Ashwin Rajadesingan has received one of Facebook’s annual fellowships. In addition to two years of tuition and up to $5,000 in conference travel support, Rajadesingan and 35 other fellows from around the world will each receive a stipend of $37,000 and a paid visit to Facebook’s California headquarters later this year. More than 1,800 applicants responded to the tech company’s 2020 call for doctoral students engaged in innovative and relevant research in areas related to computer science and engineering.

The fellowship “was a pleasant surprise!” says Rajadesingan, whose research on social computing aimed at building more deliberative online communities won him the only fellowship under the category of Computational Social Science. Other fellows’ research areas include machine learning, computer graphics, and security and privacy.

Rajadesingan is grateful that the extra time and resources afforded to him by the fellowship will allow him to focus on his long-term doctoral project of studying and testing ways to reduce online partisanship and create thoughtful political discussions.

“I’m just going to go straight ahead into getting people to have better conversations online,” he says.

- UMSI News Service