UTCS Alum Awarded NSF EAPSI 2013 Fellowship

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UTCS alum Paul Taele has been awarded a National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute (NSF EAPSI) fellowship for 2013. Paul will be carrying out research that focuses on enhancing creative computing tools for promoting better design thinking using sketch recognition techniques with Dr. Richard C. Davis at Singapore Management University in Singapore. He was also previously a recipient of the NSF EAPSI fellowship in 2012, where he had pursued research abroad in Taiwan at National Taiwan University. Paul will complete his summer fellowship by presenting his doctoral consortium paper titled "Adapting Surface Sketch Recognition Techniques for Surfaceless Sketches" at IJCAI 2013, one of the top international conferences in artificial intelligence, in Beijing, China.

"My time as a UTCS student really introduced me to amazing research in the computer sciences, and I continue to be very grateful to the wonderful faculty that helped guide that passion," said Paul. "I am eternally grateful to have been in the program and academically nurtured by some of the finest minds in the field. For example, Mike (Scott) taught me the many joys of programming, Dr. (Risto) Miikkulainen shaped what would be the foundations of my passion in research, and Dr. (Elaine) Rich taught me valuable leadership skills necessary for successful research collaborations."

Paul previously earned dual bachelor degrees in computer science and mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006 and an M.S. in computer science from Texas A&M University in 2010. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, where his research interests include sketch recognition, natural user interfaces and interaction design. He also pursued Chinese Mandarin language studies as a non-degree option at National Chengchi University in Taiwan under a full scholarship awarded by Taiwan's Ministry of Education.

About NSF EAPSI Fellowships

NSF EAPSI awardees receive a $5,000 stipend and round-trip international airfare. Foreign co-sponsoring organizations will provide additional support to cover EAPSI fellows' living expenses. The National Science Foundation's EAPSI provides U.S. graduate students in science and engineering with first-hand research experiences in Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, or Taiwan. It introduces the students to the science, science policy, and scientific infrastructure of the respective location as well familiarizes the students with the society, culture and language of the location. One of the primary goals of EAPSI is to help students initiate scientific relationships that will better enable future collaboration with foreign counterparts.

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