UMBC student and alumna selected to attend Nobel laureate meetings in Germany

A UMBC Ph.D. student and an alumna have been selected to participate in this year’s international Nobel laureate forums, which connect top student engineers and scientists from universities around the globe with the world’s leading scientific researchers.

Kavita Krishnaswamy ‘07, computer science and mathematics, and Ph.D. ‘18, computer science, will attend the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, and Naomi Mburu ‘18, chemical engineering, will attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Forum. William Easley ‘13, information systems management, M.S. ‘15, human-centered computing, and Ph.D. ‘22, human-centered computing, was also nominated to participate in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum.

“These competitive events bring great minds, who have been recognized for outstanding scientific achievement, together with a new generation of scientists, who are considered to be among the top young minds from countries around the world,” explains Renetta Tull, associate vice provost for strategic initiatives. She is delighted to say, “This year, we have not one, but two students from UMBC who will receive this significant honor.”  

Mburu, the first UMBC student to receive the Rhodes Scholarship, will attend the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting, June 24 29, in Lindau, Germany. The meeting brings approximately 500 undergraduate and Ph.D. students, and post-doctoral researchers together from around the globe to promote connections between scientists across generations, cultures, and disciplines. Each year the focus of the meeting changes to address topics including physiology, medicine, physics, and chemistry.

Naomi Mburu. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

“I am beyond excited to be attending this meeting with 40+ Nobel laureates and brilliant students from around the world,” says Mburu. “There will be opportunities to both network and speak with the Nobel laureates, while celebrating different cultures and learning more about advances in medicine and physiology.”

In addition to her most recent honors, Mburu received a Goldwater Scholarship in 2016. She has also already conducted research at European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland.

During the one-week-long Heidelberg Laureate Forum, Krishnaswamy will have the opportunity to connect and network with leaders in the fields of mathematics and computer science. The forum will be held at Heidelberg University in Germany, September 22 28.

Kavita Krishnaswamy exploring UMBC via robot. Photo by Britney Clause ’11.
Kavita Krishnaswamy. Photo by Britney Clause ’11.

Krishnaswamy is one of just 200 students from around the world selected to participate in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum. She shares, “I am very thankful for the opportunity to represent UMBC and help promote the public understanding of mathematics and computer science from the perspective of improving the quality of life for individuals with physical disabilities through the advancement of robotics.”

Krishnaswamy’s previous honors include being named a Microsoft Fellow and received the Google Lime Scholars in 2017, prestigious honors that recognize emerging scholars in computing who are dedicated to increasing diversity in the industry.

“At UMBC we think of our university as an institution committed to inclusive excellence that prepares students who can compete on a global scale,” Tull reflects. “Kavita and Naomi’s awards signify that others around the world agree.”

Banner image: Nobel Prize. Photo by Flickr user Adam Baker under license CC BY 2.0.