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Photo: ARCS event

Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla joined representatives of the ARCS Foundation San Diego Chapter for a special check presentation ceremony, along with many of this year’s fellowship awardees. Photo by Erika Johnson/University Communications.

ARCS Foundation Awards $232,500 in Fellowships for UC San Diego Graduate Students

Dustin Richmond, a third year graduate student in computer science and engineering, builds complex computer hardware systems with the power to process large data sets—such as the data involved with DNA sequencing. In his first year, Richmond worked with technology company Cognex to design an ultra-high-speed image processing pipeline—specifically for active 3D scanners—that could decompress and process 20,000 images per second.

“I like the applications side of my work because I get to help people, and learn new fields,” said Richmond. “I help them access the computational power that enables fellow researchers to work with really large data sets.”

Photo: Dustin Richmond

Graduate student Dustin Richmond in Guatemala with UC San Diego’s Engineers for Exploration program

Richmond is one of 31 UC San Diego graduate students who have been awarded a fellowship from the San Diego chapter of ARCS Foundation, Inc. for the 2014-2015 academic year. Members of the San Diego chapter presented the award check, totaling $232,500, to Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla on Oct. 13 at the Ida and Cecil Green Faculty Club at UC San Diego.

A national nonprofit led entirely by women, ARCS Foundation supports the growth of scholarship in science, engineering and medical research. Since 1987, the local chapter has given more than $4 million in unrestricted funds to UC San Diego, which students may use to further their research, cover travel expenses or meet other financial obligations.

“The ARCS Foundation has supported hundreds of graduate students who fuel research, mentor undergraduates and investigate solutions to global challenges,” said Chancellor Khosla. “We are grateful to the ARCS Foundation for their continued support.”

UC San Diego’s current graduate student population numbers more than 4,500, and according to the Chancellor’s strategic plan, is expected to grow. In addition to pursuing their own academic goals, graduate students help to train undergraduates, bring new perspectives to research labs and forge collaborations with scholars across campus.

“Fellowships and research awards, like those provided by the ARCS Foundation, enable students to focus fully on their research and academic work, and they can help the campus to attract and retain top students,” said Dean of the Graduate Division Kim Barrett.

The ARCS Foundation has provided financial awards to graduate students across the country since 1958, with the goal of sustaining and enhancing research in science, engineering and medicine. The national organization is made up of 17 chapters, which together have awarded nearly $90 million to 54 institutions over the past 56 years.

“If we are to retain our economic position in the world, it is essential that we maintain our leadership in those fields that contribute most directly to the advancement of technology and science,” said Diane Chalmers, president of the San Diego chapter. “This year’s scholars represent, as they always have, students selected not only for their proven academic achievements, but for their promise to contribute substantially to their fields in the future.”

To learn more about the ARCS Foundation, visit arcsfoundation.org/san_diego. For more information about opportunities to support scholarships and fellowships at UC San Diego, visit giving.ucsd.edu.