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Lafayette students received of some of the nation’s most prestigious scholarships in 1999-2000.

Sarah Eremus of Bryn Mawr, Pa., who received her bachelor of arts degree in May with two majors, Spanish and an individualized major in Japanese Studies, won a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Japan in the 2000-01 academic year. In Japanese institutions outside of Tokyo, such as those in Hokkaido, Shikoku, Kyushu, Okinawa, Fulbright recipients structure their own programs of language study, other course study, and individual research.

Another May graduate, Marquis Scholar Ian Rippke, an electrical and computer engineering major from East Petersburg, Pa., was awarded a three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellowship. He plans to pursue a doctorate in electrical engineering at Cornell University.

Marquis Scholar Matthew Patton, a rising junior from Los Alamos, N. Mex., was one of only five computer science majors in the nation to receive a Goldwater Scholarship for the 2000-01 academic year. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in the fields of mathematics, science, and engineering. Winners are selected for academic merit. Patton is among 309 honorees from the 50 United States and Puerto Rico who were chosen from 1,176 nominated sophomores and juniors.

Eremus says, “My research interests center on the role of preschool education in the social development of Japanese children.

“With the assistance of Dr. Yoshihiko Ariizumi I have initiated a project involving a comparative study on education and social development of children in Japan and the United States. My field studies in Japan will build on this foundation,” Eremus continues.

“My research on pedagogy and child development should provide useful insights for the emerging multicultural nature of American preschool education. Knowledge of socialization techniques used in different cultures can broaden the inventory of strategies used in the United States. Creating successful alternative approaches for reaching children both in and out of the classroom is the focus of this study.”

Eremus was the recipient of Lafayette’s Frank Kline Baker Spanish and Latin American Civilization Award, given annually to the student attaining the greatest proficiency in the study of Spanish and Latin American civilization. She is a member of Sigma Delta Pi, the national collegiate Hispanic honor society.

Rippke graduated summa cum laude. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society; and Eta Kappa Nu, the honor society for electrical engineers.

“NSF graduate fellows are promising young mathematicians, scientists, and engineers who are expected to pursue lifelong careers marked by significant contributions to research, teaching, and industrial applications in science, mathematics, and engineering,” says Susan Duby, director of NSF’s graduate education division. “Award recipients go on to become our top researchers and educators. They are a major force in maintaining the vitality and excellence of American science, mathematics and engineering.”

The NSF fellowships provide a stipend of $16,200 per year for full-time graduate study. NSF also provides an annual cost-of-education allowance of $10,500. NSF graduate fellows may attend any appropriate non-profit U.S. or foreign institution of higher education.

Rippke has done extensive research on microwave power amplifiers, including a year-long senior honors thesis, under the direction of William E. Jemison, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Jemison explains, “The microwave power amplifier is one of the most important components in a modern digital communications system. This is particularly true for portable applications such as cellular and personal communications systems where designers must carefully consider performance tradeoffs such as gain vs. power added efficiency in order to meet conflicting system requirements such as battery life vs. maximum system coverage.”

Rippke says, “I’d like to address the continuing needs for high-powered devices that are faster and cheaper. My work with Professor Jemison has endless applications in digital television and cellular phones and the concept of a wireless house where you could control your toaster or your television from a panel in the kitchen. Wireless is a huge field and I guess you could say that I want to get in on the wireless revolution.”

Rippke and fellow ECE major Feiyu Wang, a rising senior from Roseville, Minn., were honored for presentations on their research at the 2000 IEEE Sarnoff Symposium on Communications Technology for the New Millennium March 22 at The College of New Jersey. They tied for second place in a session that highlighted research currently being performed at the region’s colleges and universities.

The students coauthored the papers they presented with Jemison and others who are doing research on microwave power amplifiers funded by a three-year, $175,290 grant from the National Science Foundation.

“The Sarnoff Symposium is a highly respected regional conference whose purpose is the dissemination of the latest advances in various microwave communications technologies. Ian and Feiyu did an outstanding job presenting our work in a highly competent and professional manner that exceeded my highest expectations,” Jemison says. “The conference was attended by approximately 400 microwave communications professionals from both industry and academia. My colleagues who saw the presentations remarked to me that they were extremely impressed with the quality of research being performed by our undergraduates.”

“It’s an honor to be one of only 309 students in the nation chosen for a Goldwater Scholarship,” Patton says. “This recognition, from scientists, is a message reassuring me that computer science is where my vocation lies.

“The essay for the scholarship had to be a page-and-a-half about your research and where you’d like to go in the future,” Patton explains. “I did research, starting in March 1999, with Professor Chun Wai Liew of the computer science department. I worked during that school year and then for eight weeks over the summer. We were researching parallel computing, which is when you have a bunch of computers working together. For example, Professor Rob Root of the math department is working on a project where a computer builds an animated model of a fish swimming. It’s a very complex program, so if we could make it run on multiple processors, it would run faster.

“Parallel computing is a young and undisciplined field. People are using their own wit and ingenuity to make programs work, which is more like art instead of science. I would like to formalize these programs and the problems faced by programmers,” Patton adds.

Hans Mark, chairman of the board of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, says, “Goldwater Scholars have very impressive academic qualifications that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs,” noting that recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 31 Rhodes Scholarships (six of the thirty-two awarded in the U.S. in both 1998 and 1999), 25 Marshall Awards, 8 Churchill, 9 Fulbright, 27 Hughes, 78 National Science Foundation, and numerous other distinguished fellowships.

Patton is treasurer of the Lafayette chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery. He is also captain of Lafayette’s varsity fencing team, and a member of the Lafayette Christian Fellowship and the Newman Association. A student of jazz piano, he plays piano for Catholic Masses and worship at Christian Fellowship meetings on campus.

In January 2000, during interim session between regular semesters, Patton studied in Israel and Jordan in a distinctive three-week course with Howard J. Marblestone, associate professor of foreign languages and literatures, and Ilan Peleg, Charles A. Dana Professor of Government and Law.

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