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Three Caltech Grad Students and Two Alumni Named Quad Fellows – Caltech

Caltech graduate students Rikuto Fukumori, Gordon Li, and Ryoto Sekine and alumni Shubh Agrawal (BS '22) and Kavya Sreedhar (BS '19) have been named to the inaugural class of the Quad Fellowship, an initiative of the governments of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States to advance scientific and technological development, foster intercultural ties, and promote collective good across the four "Quad" countries.
The fellowship is operated by the nonprofit Schmidt Futures in consultation with a nongovernmental task force composed of academic, foreign policy, and private sector leaders from each Quad country. Fellowships are awarded to 100 current or rising graduate students in STEM, with 25 fellows selected from each of the four countries. Citizens and permanent residents from the Quad countries are eligible for the $50,000 scholarship, which can be used for academic costs related to graduate studies in the United States. Quad Fellows also receive opportunities to participate in cross-cultural exchange activities, networking, and mentorship programs with global thought leaders.
Recipients are selected for their commitment to promoting social good through scientific and technological innovation. Each of the five fellows from Caltech demonstrated excellence in research and a passion for the meaningful application of their work.
President Joe Biden, in a statement to Schmidt Futures, announced: "We want the next generation of scientists and technologists who will build the future to come from our Quad countries. Together, we're launching the new scholarship program to support STEM students in each of our countries and strengthen the collaboration among our people."
This year's Caltech-affiliated fellows are:
Rikuto "Riku" Fukumori
PhD candidate at Caltech
Department: Applied physics
Research Group: Andrei Faraon (BS '04), professor of applied physics and electrical engineering
Country of Citizenship: Japan
"My research focus is on developing quantum transducers, devices that can connect remote superconducting qubits. Quantum technologies have the potential to enable new ways of solving problems. Examples include secure communication and drug discovery, both of which I believe can bring about positive change."

Gordon Li
PhD candidate at Caltech (MS '22)
Department: Applied physics
Research Group: Alireza Marandi, assistant professor of electrical engineering and applied physics
Country of Citizenship: Australia
"I work on optical computing, which involves developing next-generation computers that process information using light rather than electricity. In our current Information Age, access to faster and more efficient computers is one of the most important requirements for advancing society."

Ryoto Sekine
PhD candidate at Caltech (MS '22)
Department: Electrical engineering
Research Group: Alireza Marandi, assistant professor of electrical engineering and applied physics
Country of Citizenship: Japan
"I'm trying to make an all-optical computer by developing integrated circuits for light. We believe that our architectures will be able to solve certain computationally hard problems much more efficiently than state-of-the-art electronic computers. From drug discovery to bioinformatics, complex optimization problems abound all around us."
Sekine and Li are collaborators in Alireza Marandi's lab at Caltech, where Sekine specializes in platform development and Li in computer architecture for optical computers. They were each independently awarded a Quad Fellowship.

Shubh Agrawal
Caltech alum (BS '22); PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania
Caltech Degree: Physics with minors in astronomy and computer science
Country of Citizenship: India
"In my doctoral thesis, I plan to tackle multiple challenges in observational cosmology and astrophysics. I am working on instrumentation for an Antarctic balloon-borne telescope, the Terahertz Intensity Mapper (TIM), and researching new analysis techniques for gravitational lensing surveys. I'm passionate about making science equitable and accessible to a larger diverse group of aspiring scholars. While science can have broad and deep impacts on social good, it can work for everyone's causes and needs only when everyone is represented within this community."

Kavya Sreedhar
Caltech alum (BS '19); PhD candidate at Stanford University (MS '22)
Caltech Degrees: Electrical engineering and business, economics, and management
Country of Citizenship: United States
"I work on designing efficient hardware for cryptography and deep learning applications in Mark Horowitz's research group. I think it is important for us to consider the ethical, policy, and social implications of our work as we innovate in these fields to ensure that these technologies can be useful in practice."

Caltech students interested in learning more about the Quad Fellowship should contact Lauren Stolper, director of Fellowships Advising and Study Abroad (FASA).


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