Three for the Rhodes

January 31, 2006
Rhodes Scholar ChandlerRhodes Scholar Hwang
Rhodes Scholar Satija

 Oxford bound: Rhodes Scholars Chandler, left, Hwang, and Satija Photos: Jon Gardiner

Three Duke seniors have been awarded prestigious Rhodes Scholarships. Adam D. Chandler of Burlington, North Carolina, and William L. Hwang and Rahul Satija, both of Potomac, Maryland, were among the thirty-two recipients selected from 903 applicants from 333 colleges and universities throughout the country. Five other Duke students where chosen as regional finalists.

Rhodes Scholarships, created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, provide two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. Recipients are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential, and physical vigor, among other attributes.

Chandler, a math major, has carried out numerous research projects in the field of applied computational mathematics, including work on computational quantum chemistry, molecular evolution, traffic modeling, and linguistics. He served as a research intern at the National Security Agency, where he focused on problems in cryptography. A Goldwater and Byrd Scholar, he is managing editor of the Journal of Young Investigators. He is also a cellist and president of the Duke Symphony Orchestra and volunteered in an orphanage in Tanzania. He was one of three members of a Duke team to win a Mathematical Association of America prize for best solution to a problem posed in the 2005 Mathematical Contest in Modeling. He plans to pursue a master's degree in applied and computational mathematics at Oxford.

Hwang, an A.B. Duke Scholar, is a triple major in biomedical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and physics. He is part of a research team developing electrical chips to perform rapid chemical analyses of small amounts of a substance. In 2003, he co-founded a nonprofit organization, United InnoWorks Academy Inc., which develops creative science and engineering programs for young people from underprivileged backgrounds. He has received Goldwater and National Science Foundation awards, and is a member of a men's volleyball squad at Duke. He will pursue a doctorate in biological physics at Oxford.

Satija is a senior majoring in biology and music, with a minor in math. He has been carrying out research in bioinformatics, currently focused on the sea-urchin genome and smallpox virus. Awarded a Goldwater Scholarship for his scientific work, he is also concertmaster for the Duke Symphony Orchestra, is the first violinist of a student string quartet, teaches violin to inner-city youths in Durham, and holds Duke's only music-performance scholarship. He has won first prize in several competitions, including the Russian-American International Festival of Young Virtuosos and the Durham Symphony Concerto Competition, and has performed in orchestral concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington and at Carnegie Hall. He also plays with the Duke recreational tennis club. He plans to pursue a doctoral degree in bioinformatics at Oxford.