Harvey Mudd Seniors Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

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Two Harvey Mudd seniors, Savana Ammons and Emily Hwang, have been granted National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. In addition, five seniors and four Harvey Mudd alumni were awarded honorable mentions, a significant academic achievement.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. Program participants are expected to become experts who contribute significantly to research, education and innovation in the STEM fields.


Ammons is a mathematics major who plans to attend graduate school at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She intends to continue her studies in analysis, topology or geometry, or a combination of these topics. This academic year she has been working on her senior thesis, “A Discrete Analogue to the Poincaré–Hopf Theorem,” exploring the notion of continuous vector fields over graphs and establishing an index theory for these fields with Francis Su, Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics.

Hwang, a chemistry major, will pursue a PhD in materials science at Caltech. She plans to focus her research on materials for energy storage. She recently won Best Poster Prize at the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society annual meeting for her work “Computational Indicators of Ductility in Compositionally-complex B2 Alloys.” Hwang is a 2019 recipient of the chemistry department’s Dorothy C. and J. Arthur Campbell Prize, which recognizes senior chemistry students with promise.

Another senior, Forest Kobayashi, and an alumna, Morgan Blevins ’19, were each awarded an NSF research fellowship, but did not accept the award. Kobayashi plans to pursue a PhD in mathematics at the University of British Columbia, where he was awarded a four-year doctoral fellowship. There, he will focus his studies on analysis and topology, and “studying the idea of ‘space.’” Blevins (engineering), a first-year graduate student at MIT studying jointly with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), accepted a Draper Fellowship. She is a member of the WHOI Chemical Sensing Lab, where she is researching how to develop miniaturized dissolved greenhouse gas sensors for use in the ocean and the Arctic.

NameMajorResearch Area
Harry FetschPhysics and astronomyPlasma physics
Ina FloodPhysics and astronomyParticle physics
Jonathan HayaseCS and engineeringMachine learning
Nandeeka NayakCS and engineeringComputer systems and embedded systems
Luis Martinez PatinoPhysics and astronomyAstronomy and astrophysics
HMC Seniors Awarded Honorable Mention
Alumnus/aResearch AreaGraduate School
Shifra Aron-Dine ’16 (physics)EconomicsStanford University
Nathan Geldner ’16 (mathematics)Industrial engineering and operations researchPurdue University
Garrett Wong ’14 (mathematics and computational biology)GeneticsUC San Francisco
Christopher Ye ’19 (chemistry)Chemical studiesUC Berkeley
HMC Alumni Awarded Honorable Mention

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality and diversity of the nation’s base of science and engineering candidates. Fellows are seen as crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation’s technological infrastructure and national security as well as contributing to the economic well being of society at large.