NJIT has awarded the first Thomas Fellowships to a gifted computer scientist from South Jersey and a promising young Chinese electrical engineer with three patents already under his belt. The Thomas Fellowships provide funds for doctoral studies at NJIT. Each fellowship carries a value of $62,000 and covers tuition and living expenses for the first two years of graduate study, and an additional stipend to support professional society activities in the third and fourth years.
Daniel Boston, of Pittsgrove Township, who graduated from NJIT’s College of Computing Sciences in May 2008, and Yunzhong Liu, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Hunan University, China, are the first recipients of the Thomas Fellowship.
The recently-established fellowship program honors the late Gary Thomas, PhD, who served as vice president for academic affairs from 1980 to 1990, and as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs through 1998. During his tenure, Thomas led the development of the university’s academic and research programs resulting in significant growth in research at NJIT. Provost Thomas advocated for the growth of graduate education programs, and a doubling of doctoral degrees awarded was achieved during his tenure. As a tribute to Thomas’ leadership for graduate education and research growth, NJIT has established this graduate fellowship program.
Boston’s graduate research will apply his problem solving, design, and programming skills towards the creation and improvement of mobile Internet environments. To do that he’ll use artificial intelligence techniques and advanced algorithms to develop computer software for mobile user communities and to find better ways to use mobile wireless devices in daily life. Boston chose to continue his education at NJIT so that he could continue working with his mentor Cristian Borcea, PhD, assistant professor in NJIT’s Computer Science Department in the College of Computing Sciences. Their research project, entitled Smart Campus, is funded by the National Science Foundation.
Liu comes to this honor with a strong academic and technical background. Since April of 2004, he has been a senior research engineer with the Code Division Multiple Access Institute of the ZTE Corporation, a leading telecommunications equipment manufacturer headquartered in Guangdong Province, China. Liu is interested in developing new techniques that will enhance the security of wireless networks and the Internet, and his research has been published in several journals and conferences. In 2007, three Chinese patents focused on wireless communication systems were awarded to Liu.
Both Boston and Liu will begin their studies at NJIT in September, 2008.