Six Students Earn $500,000 in NSF Scholarships - Y Magazine
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BYU Today

Six Students Earn $500,000 in NSF Scholarships

By Anne-Marie Mickelsen, ‘01

HOWDOYOUBREAKTHISSENTENCEINTOWORDS? Because speech is a continuous stream of sound without reliable word breaks, learning how to comprehend a foreign language can be a daunting task. C. Anton Rytting, ’00, is determined to figure out how natives chop their language into recognizable words and how to train computers to do it, too.

Thanks to those efforts, Rytting was one of six BYU students to receive a fellowship from the National Science Foundation for outstanding research and academic performance. The six fellowships, which total a half-million dollars over three years, will be used to fund the students’ graduate education. Rytting, who has chosen to continue his linguistic studies at Ohio State University, credits much of his success to his BYU experience.

“I commend BYU for focusing on undergraduate research. It gives students an edge,” says Rytting. “At other universities so much attention is focused on the graduate students. Because BYU focuses on undergraduate research, graduate candidates stand out from the crowd.”

Other BYU students who received the fellowships include Steven K. Charles, ’01, of Eichberg, Switzerland, who will study medical engineering at Harvard/MIT; Jenny Cutler, ’01, of Bountiful, Utah, who plans to study mechanical engineering at BYU; Daniel S. Ericksen, ’01, of Salt Lake City, who will study bioengineering at MIT; Jason M. Bodily, ’99, of Central Point, Ore., who is studying microbiology at Penn State University, and Christian B. Hansen, ’00, of Salem, Utah, who is studying economics at MIT.