Two computer science Ph.D. students, Rishab Goyal and Josiah Hanna, were selected for the highly-competitive 2018 IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Program.

The IBM Ph.D. Fellowship is a program that advances collaboration between IBM and universities by recognizing and supporting Ph.D. students from around the world. Since the beginning of the program in 1951, thousands of students have participated in the fellowship, including over 700 students in the past year, according to the fellowship program’s website. Last year, 50 Ph.D. students were awarded the fellowship.

IBM selects fellowship awardees, in part, for their areas of research and how their research relates to IBM’s computer science interests. This year, the fellowship program is focusing on artificial intelligence, security, blockchain and quantum computing.

Goyal, supervised by Brent Waters, studies computer security and cryptography, or the study of secure communication. His research interests specifically include lattice-based cryptography, blockchains and quantum cryptography, which uses quantum mechanics to send unhackable messages. Hanna, supervised by Peter Stone, works in the Learning Agents Research Group. He studies reinforcement learning, a type of machine learning that helps autonomous agents, such as robots, to make many decisions in a row from only reward signals and information from their environment.