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Microsoft scholarships awarded to three ECE students

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By Lauren Eichmann, ECE Illinois
April 4, 2008

  • The Microsoft Technical Scholarship gave the recipients varying amounts of tuition for the 2008-2009 academic year and a 12-week salaried internship at Microsoft Corporation.
  • Candidates are selected on the basis of eligibility, quality of application, commitment to leadership, and financial need.

Kirsten Stark, Yanzhu (Morgan) Wang, and Janis Lee (left to right), all juniors in ECE, will spend 12-weeks working as paid interns at Microsoft this summer as recipients of the Microsoft Technical Scholarship.
Kirsten Stark, Yanzhu (Morgan) Wang, and Janis Lee (left to right), all juniors in ECE, will spend 12-weeks working as paid interns at Microsoft this summer as recipients of the Microsoft Technical Scholarship.

ECE juniors Janis Lee, Kirsten Stark, and Yanzhu (Morgan) Wang have been awarded Microsoft Technical Scholarships, which qualified them to receive varying amounts of tuition coverage for the 2008-2009 academic year and guarantees them a 12-week salaried internship at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington. The three, however, were all offered Microsoft summer internships prior to the scholarship application.

"We were thrilled to see such strong interest in our program this year from UIUC and were happy to award scholarships to students in both the ECE department as well as the department of computer science," said Erin Bucholz of Microsoft College Recruiting.

Microsoft awarded this year’s merit-based scholarships in four categories: General Scholarships, Women's Scholarships, Underrepresented Minority Scholarships, and Scholarships for Students with Disabilities. Selection criteria includes full-time enrollment in a bachelor’s degree program at a college or university in the United States, Canada, or Mexico, successful progress toward a degree in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, math, or physics, and an expressed interest in the software industry. Candidates are selected on the basis of eligibility, quality of application, commitment to leadership, and financial need.

Stark, who is studying computer engineering along with Lee, said her interests specifically lie in operating systems and the hardware-software interface in computing. "I feel very blessed and honored to have received a Microsoft Scholarship," she said. "I’m glad to be able to help my parents pay for my out-of-state tuition, and part of the money from my internship at Microsoft this summer will probably go toward my tuition as well." She said she hopes to go to graduate school in the future.

Like Stark, Lee has an interest in graduate school, but is also considering going into industry and earning an MBA degree. Right now she is most interested in image processing and acoustics.

Wang, on the other hand, has expressed a desire to concentrate more on business and marketing during her internship with Microsoft where she will be the program manager in Windows Live’s OneCare. She wants to focus on current software products and market trends in order to best identify consumer computing needs. Her current research, alongside ECE Associate Professor Stephen Boppart, focuses on the area of an imaging modality called optical coherence tomography.

"The project deals with signal processing in MatLab to distinguish various tissue types through audio rendering of their respective Fourier Transform signatures and time domain data," explained Wang. "It is through this project that I became interested in the software industry."

Editor's note: media inquiries should be directed to Brad Petersen, Director of Communications, at bradp@illinois.edu or (217) 244-6376.

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