UA students often compete for Goldwater Scholarships and, each year, UA student recipients are named. (Photo credit: Beatriz Verdugo/UANews)
UA students often compete for Goldwater Scholarships and, each year, UA student recipients are named. (Photo credit: Beatriz Verdugo/UANews)

Two UA Students Earn Goldwater Scholarships

UA students often gain national attention for their academic and professional talents, like University juniors Eric Hansen and Daniel Patrick Fried, recipients of the 2013 Goldwater Scholarship.
May 14, 2013
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The UA's Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships facilitates the process by which students compete for national fellowships and scholarships. To learn more, contact Jeff Thibert, scholarship advisor for the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships, at 520-626-5289 or thibert@email.arizona.edu.

 Daniel Patrick Fried (second from right) is one of two UA students to be named a recipient of the 2013 Goldwater Scholarship. (Photo courtesy of the UA Eller College of Management)
Daniel Patrick Fried (second from right) is one of two UA students to be named a recipient of the 2013 Goldwater Scholarship. (Photo courtesy of the UA Eller College of Management)

A pair of University of Arizona students join other students across the nation selected to receive the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

UA Honors College juniors Eric Hansen and Daniel Patrick Fried were among 271 students to earn the scholarship for the 2013-14 academic year.

Chosen for their high academic performance in the areas of mathematics, science or engineering, the students will receive either a one- or two-year scholarship to cover higher education costs for a maximum of $7,500 for each year awarded. 

"Goldwater Scholars have very impressive academic qualifications that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs," the Goldwater Foundation noted in the announcement naming this year's recipients.

Some of the recent Goldwater Scholars have gone on to earn Rhodes Scholarships, Marshall Awards and other distinguished fellowships.

During his time at the UA, Fried has developed a strong interest in artificial intelligence research, having served as an undergraduate researcher with School of Information Sciences, Technology and Arts, or SISTA, director Paul Cohen, computer science professor Stephen Kobourov and Kobus Barnard, an associate professor at SISTA.

"I'm grateful to all of them for their enthusiastic and willing mentorship and honored that the Goldwater committee also took an interest in my research," said Fried, a student of SISTA, computer science and mathematics.

"Goldwater is important because it reaffirms my interest in research and encourages me to continue it as a career," Fried also said. 

Fried intends to pursue a doctoral program in computer science, with a particular focus on statistical machine learning.

"I'm particularly interested in computational methods for learning meaning from natural language: How can we make computer programs that not only store and retrieve our information, but also answer questions, make decisions, and learn about the world?"

Hansen, who is majoring in chemistry and mathematics, also plans to pursue graduate studies in chemistry with the intention of entering a professorship. In particular, he intends to conduct multidisciplinary photovoltaic research.

"Research is of the highest-priority in my eyes," Hansen said. "I hope to put myself in a position where I might truly contribute to the scientific field, specifically with driving the success of solar energy applications."

Hansen credited UA chemistry and biochemistry professor Neal Armstrong, Regents' Professor Jeanne E. Pemberton and Anne Padías, an academic services director for chemistry and biochemistry department, for providing opportunities that have been essential to his success.

He also expressed gratitude for the Goldwater Scholarship, noting that it will enable him to focus more intensely on his research and academic coursework.

"The notoriety that goes along with the award will hopefully put me in contact with more highly influential members of my field during graduate school," Hansen said, "which will be imperative for my contributing to important scientific advancements that might one day make it to everyday use."