Three 2022 Lustgarten-Whitney Fellows Named

An architect, a former Communications Officer for the United States Marine Corps, and a linguist will receive scholarship aid from a program that supports students from non-computational backgrounds to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to build careers in technology.

Mar 15 2023

Columbia Engineering launched its MS Bridge Program in 2020. Now in its third year, the program prepares students from diverse academic backgrounds with a year of foundational computer science coursework. The “bridge” year prepares them for a seamless transition to the School’s MS program in computer science

The Lustgarten-Whitney Family Fellowship, established in 2020, helps support highly qualified students from underrepresented and nontraditional backgrounds pursuing a degree in computer science through the Bridge program. The fellowship is made possible by the generous support of Janet Lustgarten MS’85, who is providing scholarship aid to three fellows.

These fellows were chosen for their academic excellence in the program and their potential to apply computer science in different areas. 

Joric Barber

Joric Barber

Credit: Joric Barber

Joric Barber is an architect who graduated with a BS in Architecture from Northeastern University in 2019. While working as a designer and project manager at an architectural firm in New York City, he developed an interest in using technology to interact with and understand our physical environment. He joined the MS Bridge program to acquire technical skills and transition into a career in computer vision, where he hopes to build integrated technologies that enhance everyday life. 

Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn

Credit: Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a degree in linguistics and a specialization in computational and corpus linguistics in 2015. She has spent the past seven years as a Communications Officer for the United States Marine Corps, specializing in cybersecurity, network, and data services in the Indo-Pacific Command area of operations. Although Quinn has experience with applications of computer science through computational linguistics studies and her work in cybersecurity, she wanted a more fundamental education in the basic building blocks of computers and computational techniques before pursuing advanced studies in the field. She hopes to learn how to apply natural language processing to disinformation campaign research and how such research can be used to track broader information warfare campaigns--including domestic terrorism and foreign interference, which target cybersecurity assets and infrastructure--and other public services to further national security.

Hou-Ya Wang

Hou-Ya Wang

Credit: Hou-Ya Wang

Hou-Ya Wang graduated from the National Sun Yat-Sen University Taiwan with a degree in Chinese Literature in 2011 and New York University with a MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in 2015. She has always been interested in linguistics and witnessed the impact of technology on data management while working at a translation company. It sparked her interest in natural language processing (NLP) and pushed her to enroll in the MS Bridge program to gain technical knowledge and transition to a research career. She plans to study NLP techniques to improve literal and figurative language algorithms. 

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