Five CSE students awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

The fellowship recognizes graduate students in STEM fields for their outstanding research achievements.

Five current and incoming students and recent graduates in computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan have been selected for the 2024 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). One of the most prestigious awards for graduate students in STEM fields, the fellowship recognizes and supports outstanding students pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees.

The five students receiving this honor cover a broad range of research areas in CSE, including grounded language acquisition in AI agents, systems security, human-centered software engineering, and more.

The NSF GRFP awardees in CSE are as follows:

Current and incoming students

Jacob Sansom

Jacob recently finished his master’s degree in CSE and will continue his graduate studies at U-M this fall, pursuing a PhD in CSE under advisors Prof. Joyce Chai and Prof Honglak Lee. Part of the Situated Language and Embodied Dialogue (SLED) lab, his research interests include grounded language acquisition in embodied AI agents, online/continual learning, and cognitive modeling.

Jacob Sansom wearing a dark tshirt stands smiling at the camera in front of a hilly landscape behind a lake.

William Wang

William is a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where he earned a dual bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and computer science. He will be coming to U-M this fall to pursue a PhD in CSE. His research interests include medical robotics, high-performance graphics computing, virtual/augmented reality, and machine learning.

William Wang smiles at the camera, kneeling with a small, brown dog. He is wearing a dark windbreaker, and there is a sunset behind him.

Recent graduates

Kaia Newman

Kaia graduated with a BSE in computer science in 2023 and is currently a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research focuses on human-centered software engineering, including program comprehension, developer productivity and wellbeing, accessibility for neurodivergent developers, and more, and she continues to contribute to projects on these topics with Prof. Westley Weimer in CSE.

Kaia Newman smiles at the camera. She is wearing a light button-up shirt and glasses. She is standing in front of a royal blue wall.

Elanor Tang

Elanor graduated with an MS in CSE in December 2023 and will be pursuing a PhD in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University in the fall. While at U-M, she performed research in the Michigan Aerospace and Robotics Verification Lab (MARVL) with Prof. Jean-Baptiste Jeannin, with her work focusing on the application of formal methods and programming language techniques to establish the safety and security of programs and systems.

Elanor Tang (headshot) smiles at the camera against a blurred background of grass and trees.

Eric Zhao

Eric recently graduated with a BSE in computer science and will be pursuing a PhD at Brown University starting this fall. During his time at U-M, he worked with Prof. Cyrus Omar in the Future of Programming Lab on the design of next-generation user interfaces for modern programming languages. One of his papers in this area won a Distinguished Paper Award at POPL 2024

Eric Zhao looks sideways at the camera against a forest background. He is wearing a blue shirt and a black cap.