55 Seniors Awarded $2,500 Hoopes Prizes

Ending their Harvard careers on a high note, 55 senior were awarded the 1997-98 Hoopes Prize, the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday.

Endowed by Thomas T. Hoopes '19, the Hoopes Prize was founded to recognize "excellence in undergraduate work" which takes the form of a long-tern project, often a senior thesis, Winners receive a $2,500 cash award.

It is considered one of Harvard's most prestigious undergraduate awards.

"I was psyched," said Timothy K. Mueller '98, who won the award for his senior thesis titled "The Development and Application of a Computationally Efficient Method for the Generation of Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Images."

In order to be considered for the prize, a student must be nominated by a member of the teaching staff who supervised the project. In addition to the $2,500 cash prize award to the student, the nominating teacher also receives a $750 stipend.


Although the award is technically open to all undergraduates, students typically submit their senior theses.

"About 99.9 percent of the nominations are theses, but they don't have to be theses," said Deborah Foster, the assistant dean for undergraduate education and director of the Hoopes Prize.

This year about 160 nominations were considered for the prize, said Foster. Roughly one-third of the nominees were selected as winners.

According to Foster, the evaluation committee is made up of three Faculty subcommittees to judge submissions in the sciences, social sciences and humanities. Each project is evaluated by at least two people on the appropriate sub-committee. The final decisions are made by the committee as a group.

"Committee members have often been on the committee for several years, so they have wide range of experience and expertise in their field," she said.

Foster also said Faculty members on the committee find the experience gratifying. "The theses are of such a quality that reading them is both invigorating and intoxicating," she said.

Winning the Hoopes Prize is no small feat. Most of the recipients agree that their projects ate up a lot of their time.

"It was definitely a high cost endeav- ,or," said James J. Choi '98 who received theprize for his thesis on risks and the stockmarket. "I didn't see a lot of people for a longtime."

Most seniors start early in the fall term ontheir projects. But others, like Choi, saw theneed to get a head start over the summer.

According to Mueller most of the time is spentresearching and collecting data. "I didn't startwriting until a few weeks before it was due," hesaid.

Was all the headache worth it? "It wasdefinitely the most rewarding academic experienceof my Harvard career," Choi said.

The following seniors were awarded HoopesPrizes: Lucy Bisognano '98, Gopal Garuda '98,Sarah E. Jackson '98, Abhinav Seth '98, Nara C.Sun '98 and Bradley L. Whitman '98, all of AdamsHouse; Jennifer L. Burns '98 of Cabot House;Derrick Ashong '98, Michael S. Cuthbert '98, EhabA. Goldstein '98, Adam J. Levitin '98, Peter B.McIntyre '98, Youngju Ryu '98 and Patrick J. Wrinn'98, all of Currier House; Joshua A. Corngold '98,Mark J. Engler '98, Nina Mitchell '98, JenniferSoriano '98 and Toma Tasovac '98, all of DudleyHouse; Daniel K. Biss '98, YiLing L.Chen-Josephson '98, Dina Dudkin '98, David F.Elmer '98, Daley C. Haggar '98, Jeremy Kleiner'98, Timothy K. Mueller '98, Julianna Tymoczko '98and Cristina L. Vatulescu '98, all of DunsterHouse; Judith Quinones '98 and Benjamin F.Zaitchik '98, all Eliot House residents; Max Diehn'98, Amanda P. Fortini '98, David S. Grewal '98,Justin C. Kestler '98, Jonathan S. Thierman '98and Dustin E. Thomason '98, all of Kirkland House;Kelsey W. McNiff '98 and Abigail R. Rezneck '98Leverett House; Kirsten V. Cadieux '98, ElizabethA. Foster '98, Anna Greka '98, Elizabeth A.Kensinger '98, Iris Lan '98 and Daniel F. Mason'98, all of Lowell House; Jenny D. Berrien '98,James J. Choi '98, Hsuan L. Hsu '98 and Rern Lau'98, all of Mather House; Julia Raiskin '98 ofPforzheimer House; Cristian Pop-Eleches '98 ofQuincy House; Chen-chen Chang '98, Daniel M.Engber '98, Ellen Shustorovich '98, Aurelio A.Teleman '98 and Alex M. Zakaras '98, all ofWinthrop House.

Honorable mentions were awarded to Curtis R.Chong '98 and Omri Traub '98 of Currier House

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