Four for Goldwater Scholarship

June 1, 2003

Four Duke students who intend to pursue careers in science, mathematics, or engineering have been awarded prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, which recognize academic achievements and encourage students to continue work in those fields.

This year's winners are Ethan D. Eade of Maryland, Lauren M. Childs of New Jersey, Margaret J. Wat of North Carolina, and Linda Zhang of Tennessee.

Colleges and universities are invited to nominate four students for each year's competition, and all four of Duke's nominees were chosen to receive the scholarship. They were among 300 undergraduates selected on the basis of academic merit from a national field of 1,093.

Since the scholarships were established by Congress in 1986, in memory of the late U.S. senator and Republican presidential candidate, fifty-two Duke students have received the honor, which provides up to $7,500 a year toward tuition, books, and other college expenses.

Eade, a rising senior, is studying computer science and mathematics. He hopes to earn a Ph.D. in computer science and become a professor of computer science at a major research university. He has been engaged in research with computer networks with Amin Vahdat in the computer science department, and he is the lead software engineer for the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle project of the Duke Robotics Club. He plays trumpet in the Duke Symphony Orchestra and in other performance groups at Duke.

Childs, a rising senior studying mathematics and chemistry, plans to earn a Ph.D. in applied mathematics. She intends to teach and conduct research in a university or institutional setting with an emphasis on mathematical immunology or computational biology. Working with Thomas Kepler at the Santa Fe Institute and in the biostatistics and bioinformatics department at Duke, Childs is developing mathematical models of desirable genetic changes during an immune response. She is a member of the Duke Women's Ultimate Frisbee club team, which ranked among the top ten nationally.

Wat, a rising junior, is studying biology and chemistry. She plans to earn an M.D. and Ph.D. in molecular biology or pharmacology research. Her goal is to make significant contributions to drug design and development through conducting and supervising research in pharmacology. In the summer following her first year at Duke, Wat was a Howard Hughes Research Fellow in the laboratory of John Simon in the chemistry department. Before coming to Duke, she had been engaged in research on the molecular genetics of circadian rhythm regulation. She is a member of the executive committee of the Web-based International Journal of Young Investigators.

Zhang, a rising senior, is studying biomedical engineering. She plans to earn an M.D. and Ph.D. in cell or molecular biology and teach cell or molecular biology. She wants to conduct research focusing on the cell cycle, growth factors, and mechanisms by which cells proliferate. As a Howard Hughes Research Fellow in 2001, she worked with Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom in the pharmacology and cancer biology department; she has also been engaged in cellular biology research at Vanderbilt University's medical school. She volunteers as a violin teacher in a Durham elementary school and is a contributing writer for DukEngineer magazine.