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Grad Students Win Computer Science Prize


The Harvard Crimson

October 9th 2008

For computer science graduate students Neil V. Jhaveri and Daniel Shteremberg, the countless hours spent working in research laboratories, leading projects, and completing difficult courses paid off—literally—on Tuesday when they were named 2009 Siebel Scholars.

The two master’s candidates from Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are among the 47 nationwide recipients of the $25,000 scholarship sponsored by the Siebel Foundation. The prestigious award is granted to students in leading business and computer science schools to recognize academic excellence and leadership.

Both Siebel Scholars expressed their excitement and gratitude for the award. “I’m very honored, not only because the Siebel Foundation is very prestigious, but also because the other awardees are all so accomplished and intelligent,” said Shteremberg. “To be associated with people who are the top in their fields is a great honor.”

Shteremberg, who graduated summa cum laude in computer science from Tufts this past spring, said that his undergraduate activities were probably the reason for his nomination as a Siebel Scholar. At Tufts, he organized a research symposium as the president of Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical and computer engineering honor society, and also helped to found the Tufts Wireless Laboratory, where he developed the Body Sensor Network, which can detect human activity.

Jhaveri graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2007 after completing a double B.S. program in computer science and finance. His past work experience includes a position as senior software engineer at Corporate Zen. Currently, Jhaveri is working to develop an information technology system to help doctors and patients manage chronic illnesses, a reflection of his interest in healthcare technology.

People familiar with Shteremberg and Jhaveri commented on their merit as awardees.

“Both have done very well in their studies, but have also exhibited leadership inside and outside the classroom,” said Jenny Hildebrand, a marketing manager for the Siebel Foundation.

In addition to the financial aspect of the award, the Siebel Scholars program also provides a way for students to meet other leaders in the fields of computer science and business. Each year, the Siebel Foundation holds an annual conference where past and present scholars discuss solutions to social problems. This year’s conference, “Water: The Next Global Crisis?”, will take place at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management later this month.

“It is one of the best networking opportunities I’ve been presented with,” Jhaveri said about the upcoming conference. “I’m really excited to meet so many people from different schools and backgrounds and to forge long-term friendships.”