by Whitney Hale
Josiah Hanna, of Lexington, Ky., has been awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship worth up to $7,500 per year. Hanna is one of 271 students nationwide awarded the Goldwater Scholarship this year. This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,107 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by Congress to honor the former Arizona U.S. senator who served the nation for 30 years. The scholarship program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Since its first award in 1989, the foundation has bestowed more than 6,550 scholarships worth approximately 40 million dollars.
The son of David and Sarah Hanna, Hanna is currently a junior pursuing computer science and mathematics majors. He plans to pursue a doctorate in artificial intelligence with a focus on planning under uncertainty or machine learning.
Hanna has been conducting undergraduate research with Professor Judy Goldsmith in the Computer Science Department for the past two years in the field of artificial intelligence with a focus on planning under uncertainty. "I have been truly blessed to have Dr. Goldsmith as my research advisor," Hanna said. "She really cares about her students, and I have had so many incredible opportunities at UK directly because of her. For instance, this past summer I was able to work in Paris, France, with Dr. Patrice Perny and Dr. Paul Weng at the University of Pierre and Marie Curie."
The UK junior hopes that being awarded the Goldwater Scholarship will help him grow professionally. "Goldwater is a big honor as far has being recognized as a student who has found success in research as well as showing potential to continue that success," said Hanna. "While there is a financial award, I hope Goldwater will help me be competitive for graduate fellowships such as the National Science Foundation Fellowship."
In addition to his studies, Hanna is a Chellgren Fellow and member of UK Honors Program, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, the Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research, Triangle Fraternity and Tau Beta Pi Honor Society.
Hanna applied for the Goldwater Scholarship through the UK Office of External Scholarships. The Office of External Scholarships (OES), part of the Division of Undergraduate Education, assists current students and recent alumni in applying for scholarships, fellowships and awards funded by sources outside the university. Specifically, OES helps students strengthen an application, develop a personal statement, practice for an interview and provides other preparation activities for the scholarship application process. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to contact Pat Whitlow, director of the OES, and begin work with Whitlow well in advance of the scholarship deadline.