Michael Krainin receives Goldwater and CRA awards

Michael Krainin, an undergraduate Computer Science and Mathematics major, has won a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, and he was selected for Honorable Mention in the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Award competition for 2008.

The CRA program recognizes undergraduate students who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. Nominees whose work is considered to be exemplary are recognized with Honorable Mentions.

Krainin is one of just 321 students in the nation to win the Goldwater award for the 2008-09 academic year out of 1,035 students nominated. Goldwater Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit, and are students who intend to pursue careers in science, mathematics or engineering. It is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields. The scholarship covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500.

A Commonwealth College honors student, Krainin is currently on exchange at Uppsala University in Sweden, where he is taking courses in algorithmic problem-solving, machine learning, elementary particle physics and basic Swedish.

For the past two years, Krainin has worked in the Department’s Multi-Agent Systems Laboratory under the supervision of Professor Victor Lesser. He has also completed two summer Research Experience for Undergraduates programs with the Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA), a National Science Foundation center. This led to his publication of a paper in the proceedings of the 2007 Intelligent Agent Technology Conference in California, where he presented his research.

 “The scholarship is going towards helping to pay for my school fees and expenses for my final year at UMass,” he said. “I’ve already completed the requirements for the computer science major, but I’ve elected to stay for a year longer than I would really have to. That way I have some extra time for opportunities I want to pursue. These include coming here to Sweden, taking a second major, continuing to do research, and taking courses like ‘General Relativity,’ about which I’m curious. Having this scholarship makes staying for a fourth year a bit easier.”

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate.