Funding, Fontaine Society 2022 Microsoft Research PhD Fellows

Congratulations to Cheryl Hagan, Yiping Ma, Van Truong, who have been named 2022 Microsoft Research PhD Fellows! 

Blue box with "2022 Microsoft Research PhD Fellows" and photos of three recipients with names and degree program.


October 13, 2022 

Three Penn doctoral students have been selected to receive the 2022 Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship.  

The Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship program recognizes and supports talented PhD students, who are selected on the basis of their achievements and potential to advance research in computing-related fields. Universities are invited to submit a limited number of nominees each year, who must be conducting research related to the general areas of research carried out within Microsoft research labs or within applied research groups in other parts of the Microsoft organization. Fellows should also support Microsoft’s mission of empowering others to achieve more and embrace opportunities to foster diverse and inclusive cultures within their communities.  

Penn’s 2022 Microsoft Research PhD Fellows are:

  • Cheryl Hagan, PhD student in History & Sociology of Science (SAS)
    Cheryl’s research focuses on how broader structural legacies of colonialism and global economic disenfranchisement in Africa impact framings of the co-constitution of Blackness and technology. Cheryl is also interested in the emerging field of Public Interest Technology. Cheryl holds a BA in Religion from Wesleyan University.

  • Yiping Ma, PhD student in Computer and Information Science (SEAS)
    Yiping’s research focuses on applied cryptography and the interplay with distributed networks and computer systems. Yiping holds a BS in Computer Science from Peking University (Turing Honor Program).
    Advisers: Sebastian Angel and Tal Rabin

  • Van Truong, PhD candidate in Genomics & Computational Biology (BGS, Medicine) and MA student in Statistics (Wharton)
    Van’s current research focuses on developing an immune-focused ontology and high-quality knowledge graph for autoimmunity from heterogeneous multi-omics databases. In addition to broad research interests in knowledge representation in immunology, Van is passionate about data integration, structuring information into explicit reasoning, improving the machine-readability of heterogeneous data, and developing user-friendly tools for computational immunology. Van holds an MS in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Florida.
    Advisers: Marylyn Ritchie and John Wherry

Each of these students was nominated for the competition by their department or graduate group to represent Penn and are among just 36 fellows selected globally. As Microsoft Research PhD Fellows, they will receive a $42,000 stipend, plus tuition and fees for two academic years, as well as opportunities for mentorship and to build relationships with research teams at Microsoft. While many fellows go on to work as part of the Microsoft Research organization, other fellows go on to conduct research in academic, industry, and government institutions.

Learn more about the Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship and read the program announcement on the Microsoft Research website.

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