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Ruth C. Fong '15 named Rhodes Scholar
Cambridge, Mass. - November 23, 2014 - Ruth C. Fong '15, a computer science concentrator at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), is one of two students at Harvard, and 32 nationally, who have been named Rhodes Scholars for 2015.
Created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, the scholarships cover all costs for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford.
Fong and her classmate Benjamin Sprung-Keyser '15, an economics concentrator in Harvard College, are expected to begin their studies at Oxford in the fall of 2015.
During her time at Harvard, Fong has completed research in the laboratory of David Cox, assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology and of computer science, combining neuroscience with machine learning to advance the study of computer vision. Fong's senior thesis explores how computers can intuitively identify and perceive objects in a way that more closely mimics the human brain.
She has served as an assistant or teaching fellow for three SEAS courses on computer science, discrete mathematics, and computational theory and has been active in the student groups Hack Harvard and Harvard Women in Computer Science, among others. During the summers, she completed internships at Apple, Microsoft, and D.E. Shaw; she also received a highly competitive scholarship from Apple for women in technology and a Tech in the World Fellowship to analyze data on infectious disease in Tanzania.
In addition to her studies at Harvard, Fong is an advocate for autism-related causes, director of the Big Sibs program in Boston's Chinatown neighborhood, and a dancer, enjoying both hip-hop and traditional Chinese dance.
At Oxford, she intends to pursue both the M.Sc. in Mathematics and Foundations in Computer Science, and the M.Sc. in Computer Science.
The 2015 American Rhodes Scholars faced competition from 877 students nominated by 305 colleges and universities nationwide. Winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential, and physical vigor, among other attributes.
This year’s awards bring the ranks of Harvard’s Rhodes Scholars to 350.