Six Women Awarded $250,000 Hertz Fellowships in the Applied Sciences

Hertz_logoThe Fannie and John Hertz Foundation has announced the winners of its 2013 Hertz Fellowships. The fellowships are considered to be the most generous support for graduate students in the applied physical, biological, and engineering sciences. Each fellow is eligible for awards of $250,000 over five years to support doctoral research.

Hertz Fellows pursue their own ideas with complete financial independence, under the guidance of some of the country’s finest professors and mentors. Fellows are chosen for their intellect, their ingenuity and their potential to bring meaningful improvement to society. The highly competitive selection process includes a comprehensive written application, four references, and two rounds of technical interviews by recognized leaders in applied sciences and engineering.

This year 15 Hertz Fellows were chosen from more than 700 applicants. Six of the new Hertz Fellows are women. Four are pursuing doctoral studies at MIT and two are at Stanford.


(L to R) Kathleen Alexander, Hilary Finucane, Olivia Hendricks, Ruby Lai, Amy Ousterhout, and Jennifer Schloss

Kathleen Alexander is a member of the Schuch Research Group in the department of material science and engineering at MIT. The group uses experiments, analytical theory, and computer simulations to explore the processing-structure-property relationships in structural metals and materials. She earned a bachelor’s degree in materials engineering at MIT in 2011.

Hilary Finucane is a student of computational biology in the department of mathematics at MIT. She is a graduate of Harvard University and earned a master’s degree in theoretical computer science at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Olivia Hendricks is a doctoral student in chemistry at Stanford University. She is a member of the research group headed by associate professor Christopher Chidsey.

Ruby Lai is a member of the LevLab in the department of applied physics at Stanford University where she works with Professor Benjamin Lev. Among the lab’s projects is research on magnetic and electric field imaging of cryogenically cooled strongly correlated materials with unprecedented sensitivity and resolution.

Amy Ousterhout is graduating from Princeton this spring and will enter the Ph.D. program in computer science at MIT. Her research will focus on computer networks. At Princeton, she was the co-president of Princeton Women in Computer Science and was the online editor of The Daily Princetonian. Ousterhout’s sister, Kay, won a Hertz Fellowship in 2011.

Jennifer Schloss is a member of the Ultracold Quantum Gases Group in the department of physics at MIT. The lab is under the director of associate professor Martin Zwierlein. The lab’s research involves the study of gases in environments where the temperature approaches absolute zero.

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