Cornell Bowers College of Computing and Information Science
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Three Cornell Doctoral Candidates Win Meta Research Fellowships

By David LaRocca

Qizhe CaiYucheng Lu, and Pengfei Zhao have each won a Meta Research Fellowship for their work in computer science and engineering. The Meta Ph.D. Research Fellowship program, now in its 11th year, awards doctoral candidates conducting cutting-edge research in emerging topics across computer science and engineering, including AI system hardware/software co-design, blockchain and cryptoeconomics, human-computer interaction, programming languages, and AR/VR future technologies.

Cai, who is advised by Professor Rachit Agarwal in the Department of Computer Science in the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, works in Networking, with a particular focus on building networked systems and protocols for Terabit Ethernet. Prior to Cornell, he completed an M.S. in Computer Science from Princeton University, and a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.

Lu, who is advised by Professor Christopher De Sa in the Department of Computer Science in Cornell Bowers CIS, works in AI System HW SW Co-Design, including the areas of building scalable and provably correct machine learning systems (including communication compression, model compression, decentralization, and sample ordering). His research on decentralized learning won the Outstanding Paper Award Honorable Mention at ICML 2021. Prior to Cornell, he received a B.S. in Electronic Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 

Zhao, who is advised by Professor Natalie Bazarova in the Department of Communication in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, works in Human Computer Interaction (Social Media, People, and Society). Her research interests lie at the intersection of new communication technology, interpersonal communication, and well-being. Specifically, she is interested in studying how new communication technologies, such as smartphones and social media, affect self-disclosure, social support, relationship initiation and development, and mental health.

The three Fellows are joined by ten finalists from Cornell, including: Kushal Babel (Blockchain and Cryptoeconomics), Cazamere Comrie (Computational Social Science), Zekun Hao (AR/VR Computer Graphics), Saehan Jo (Database Systems), Michela Meister (Economics and Computation), Antonia Miruna Oprescu (Economics and Computation), Ayush Sekhari (Applied Statistics), Farhana Shadid (Human Computer Interaction: Social Media, People, and Society), Midhul Vuppalapati (Distributed Systems), and Qianqian Wang (AR/VR Computer Graphics).

The Meta Research Fellowship has supported more than 179 doctoral candidates from around the world. This year, in one of the most diverse and competitive pools of candidates to date, Meta received over 2,300 applications from over 100 universities worldwide from which 37 outstanding Fellows from 24 universities were selected. 

Fellows are invited to attend the annual Meta Ph.D. Fellowship Summit, where they have the opportunity to present their own research, discover more about the impact of current research at Meta, and build connections with Meta researchers and fellow award winners. The 2022 summit will be held virtually.