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Computer science doctoral student Darryl Hannan.
Computer science doctoral student Darryl Hannan.

Computer science doctoral student Darryl Hannan has been selected as a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship for 2019. This is a nationwide fellowship that supports outstanding graduate students in various STEM disciplines who are pursuing advanced research-based degrees at U.S. institutions.

Hannan works in natural language processing and machine learning as a member of the UNC-NLP group, led by assistant professor Mohit Bansal.

As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, beginning in 1952, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. The reputation of the GRFP follows recipients and often helps them become life-long leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching. Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Google founder Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author Steven Levitt. Since the program’s conception, the National Science Foundation has funded more than 50,000 graduate students selected from over 500,000 applications. Currently, 42 fellows have gone on to become Nobel laureates, and more than 450 have become members of the National Academy of Sciences. More details at this link.

Hannan was one of only nine winners in the field of natural language processing this year. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000, with an additional $12,000 cost of education allowance that covers tuition and fees, and are provided with additional opportunities for international research and professional development.

Hannan’s research is in natural language processing, and especially multimodal reasoning algorithms, which are models that can reason and perform artificial intelligence tasks by combining information from varied sources, including text, images, videos, databases and speech. Hannan is passionate about computer science outreach, having led the Villanova University student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and tutored underrepresented students from low-income families. Hannan received a bachelor’s in computer science from Villanova University and spent two summers as a researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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