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Patil (M.A. ’99, Ph.D. ’01, applied mathematics), former U.S. chief data scientist, helps governors answer critical questions with data

In the California crisis command center, DJ Patil (M.A. ’99, Ph.D. ’01, applied mathematics) was working with governors from across the country to model the potential impact of COVID-19 for scenario planning. 

He wanted to help them answer critical questions, like “How many hospital beds will we need?” and “Can we reduce the spread if we temporarily close places where people gather?” and “Should we issue a shelter-in-place order and for how long?” While nobody can predict the future, modeling the virus with all the factors they did know was their best shot at helping leaders make informed decisions, which would impact hundreds of thousands of lives.

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The scholarship will support his graduate studies in artificial intelligence at the University of Cambridge.

University of Maryland senior mathematics and computer science double-degree student Tanay Wakhare has been awarded a 2020 Winston Churchill Scholarship, which offers him full funding to pursue a one-year master’s degree at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Nationally, 15 students in the sciences, engineering or mathematics receive Churchill Scholarships annually. The scholarship—valued at around $60,000—covers all educational fees and provides living and travel allowances.

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Hauptman shared the 1985 Nobel Prize in chemistry for creating a method to determine the 3D structure of molecules.

The University of Maryland’s Department of Mathematics received a $6.5 million estate gift from Carol Fullerton that honors the memory of her late father, Herbert A. Hauptman (Ph.D. ’55, mathematics). The gift will establish the Herbert A. Hauptman Endowed Graduate Fellowship Program in the department.

 “The gift is a transformative moment in the history of our department,” said Doron Levy, interim chair of the Department of Mathematics. “It will provide us with the resources needed to elevate the experience of our Ph.D. students. We are so proud to be Herbert Hauptman’s alma mater, and we believe that the gift will allow us to carry on his legacy for many years to come.”

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