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Graduate Education Alumni Awards

PhD Dissertation Award, MS Thesis Award, and MFA Thesis Award

The Office of Graduate Education, in collaboration with RIT PhD doctoral programs, and masters level programs, present three distinct awards annually for outstanding PhD dissertation, outstanding MS thesis, and outstanding MFA thesis. The purpose of the awards is to recognize exceptional PhD and masters level research internally, and to encourage the recognition of PhD dissertation and masters level theses at the national and international level.

Selection criteria for evaluation of the nominations include: quality of the research; quality of the writing; impact of the dissertation or thesis as measured by peer reviewed publications; conference papers; awards; etc. The selection committee only awards the prize to the PhD dissertation, MS thesis, or MFA thesis it considers outstanding at a national level within a particular discipline. The selection committee may, at times, add criteria it deems appropriate.

The outstanding PhD dissertation award, MS thesis award, and MFA thesis award consist of $1,000 and a certificate issued by the Office of Graduate Education. The honorable mention award consists of a certificate issued by the Office of Graduate Education.

2017 Award Recipients

Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award

Alexandra Artusio-Glimpse 
College:  College of Science 
Program: Imaging Science
Dissertation Title:  The Realization and Study of Optical Wings          

Dissertation Advisor/Mentor:  Grover Swartzlander

Outstanding MFA Thesis Award

Timothy Fitzgerald 
College:  College of Health Systems and Technology 
Program: Medical Illustration
Thesis Title: 
Visualization of HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders         
Thesis Advisor/Mentor:  James Perkins

Outstanding MS Thesis Award

James Mnatzaganian* 
College:  Kate Gleason College of Engineering
Program: Computer Engineering
Thesis Title:  A Mathematical Formalization of Hierarchical Temporal Memory's Spatial Pooler for use in Machine Learning         
Thesis Advisor/Mentor:  Dhireesha Kudithipudi

MS Thesis Honorable Mention

Peter LoVerso 
College: College of Science
Program: Bioinformatics
Thesis Title:  Trans-species Transcriptomic Comparison of in vitro and in vivo Neural Cells         
Thesis Advisor/Mentor:  Feng Cui

James Mnatzaganian has been selected as the finalist for the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS) outstanding master’s thesis award. Nominees must have received the master’s degree within three years preceding the year of competition. The $1000 award was presented at the annual meeting by University Microfilms, Inc.. Jame attended the meeting as a guest of the Association. All member institutions in good standing are invited to submit nominations. There can be only one nominee from each institution. Announcements and deadlines for the annual competition are sent out to each Fall to all member institutions.

We at RIT proudly congratulate James Mnatzaganian on the honor of receiving this distinct recognition for his accomplished work.

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