Google Australia funds CompSci PhDs

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Google Australia funds CompSci PhDs

But only for a year.

Google Australia has awarded fellowships to help four Australian computer science researchers complete their doctorates.

Google awards PhD Fellowships around the world “to recognize and support outstanding graduate students doing exceptional research in Computer Science and related disciplines.”

The four Australians selected in this round were:

  • Xiang Zhang of the University of New South Wales whose research proposal is titled “Context-aware Human Intent Inference for Improving Human Machine Cooperation” and is aimed at “overcoming the research hurdles and stretching the horizons of interactive intelligent systems and brain-computer interface by developing novel learning paradigm[s].”
  • Siqi Wu of the Australian National University whose proposal is titled “How is Attention Allocated? A Data-driven Study of Popularity and Engagement in Online Videos.” Siqi will probe “how things become popular and how people influence each other on the Internet.”
  • Niels van Berkel of the University of Melbourne will research “Data Quality and Quantity in Mobile Self-Report Studies” to “assess and increase the quality of human-contributed data collected through their personal smartphones.”
  • Stephen Mallon of The University of Sydney will pursue research titled “DLibOS Achieving performance and protection for IO bound applications on multi-core and many-core architectures”, in order to “improve the performance and efficiency of network applications by better leveraging the capabilities of underlying hardware. His overarching goal is that his research will impact and influence the design and architecture of real-world networking systems.”

Google’s clout means the Fellowships are prestigious. The unspecified “monetary award … given directly to the university to be distributed to cover the student’s expenses and stipend as appropriate” will doubtless be welcome, too. Students are also “matched with a Google Research Mentor” to help them develop their research and to build links to industry.

But the Australian program appears less generous than the fellowships Google awards elsewhere. As explained on Google’s Fellowships FAQ, candidates in India can receive support for up to four years, while African, European or Middle Eastern students can receive up to three years of help.

US and Canadian students get two years support and a rather more generous scheme that offers “Full tuition and fees (books, health insurance, etc) plus a stipend to be used for living expenses, travel and personal equipment.”

With many US colleges charging tens of thousands of dollars a year, that’s a hefty prize.

Comment has been sought by iTnews from Google for details on the size of the monetary payment and why its Australian program is shorter than those offered elsewhere.


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