ATLAS affiliated PhD student Vinitha Gadiraju has received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a prestigious award that recognizes and supports outstanding students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Advised by Shaun Kane, director of the Superhuman Computing Lab, Gadiraju researches and develops educational toys to help children who are visually impaired and members of their support network. More broadly, her research interests include assistive/accessible technology in education and designing tools to support classroom equity.
"I am very grateful to the NSF for this fellowship for supporting my ongoing and future research," Gadiraju says. "This fellowship will allow me to iteratively design and build computational toys that support children learning Braille at home and in the classroom. It will also support direct user testing of these toys with children who are visually impaired, their families and teachers of the visually impaired."
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 2020, the NSF awarded 26 Graduate Research Fellowships to CU Boulder students.