Published: April 10, 2019

ATLAS PhD student Nicole Johnson and affiliated ATLAS PhD student Abigail Zimmermann-Niefeld have been selected as 2019 National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) fellows. Shanel Wu, also an ATLAS PhD student, received a GRFP honorable mention. Nicole Johnson and Abigail Zimmermann-Niefeld

Advised by Tom Yeh, Johnson's research interests include accessible STEM content, tactile graphic usability and innovations in technology that will improve alternative-media systems in education. Zimmermann-Niefeld is a research assistant in Ben Shapiro's Laboratory for Playful Computation, and she conducts research on how young people can learn machine learning and statistical modeling through using the ALPACA ML toolkit to build models of athletic and artistic activities. Wu researches the intersections of cutting-edge technology and handicraft in Laura Devendorf's Unstable Design Lab, cultivating a passion for craftwork, education and the pursuit of scientific knowledge. 

GRFP 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 U.S. institutions. Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, opportunities for international research and professional development and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.

According to the NSF GRFP website, NSF Fellows are "anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching and innovations in science and engineering" and "are 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."

In total for 2019, the NSF awarded 32 Graduate Research Fellowships to CU Boulder students. An additional 14 students earned honorable mention recognition.