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Harvard Honors 81 With Hoopes Prize

By Melody Y. Guan, Crimson Staff Writer

UPDATED: May 13, 2013, at 11:23 a.m.

Eighty-one Harvard undergraduates were honored with the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize for outstanding scholarly work or research, Harvard announced Friday.

The winning projects, most of which were senior theses, were selected from a pool of nominations by students’ faculty supervisors. Hoopes winners are awarded $4,000 each and their nominators receive $1,000.

Aaron J. Deutsch ’13 was among the many recipients who expressed pride at the recognition.

“It is certainly a big honor, and I’m just really glad that all of the hard work I put into it was recognized by this committee,” he said.

After learning that his roommate was selected, Andrew K. Cohen ’13 checked his email and realized that he had won as well.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all, so I was completely floored. It was awesome,” he said.

After learning of his award, Christopher A. Devine ’13 emailed his principal investigator and postdoctoral advisor.

“There were lots of exclamation points involved,” he said.

Reflecting on the Hoopes recognition, Cohen said that the process of writing his thesis was even more valuable to him than the award.

“It was first the time in my academic year I enjoyed the process of doing a rigorous assignment,” he said.

William M. Rafey ’13 also mentioned the rigors of writing a thesis.

“The hardest part about thesis-writing is not the fact that it’s so long but that you realize it’s senior year and you realize you won’t see your friends in the same place again,” he said. “The opportunity cost is high.”

Deutsch nevertheless recommended that every undergraduate write a thesis.

“As long as you find a project you’re excited about and an advisor you’re comfortable with, and who you can maintain good relationship with...it’s definitely a rewarding experience,” he said.

Andres A. de la Llera Kurth ’13 said that being awarded the Hoopes Prize has special significance coming from the underrepresented field of engineering sciences.

“Engineering and computer science do not appear too often in [Hoopes Prize winners’ lists]”, he said, noting that there were no engineering or computer science concentrators among this year’s Phi Beta Kappa Junior 24.

Kurth built a low-cost medical device meant for eye cataract surgery. He said his interest in the topic stems from his background in Chile, where cataracts are a significant health problem. His prototype worked successfully on fish eyes, and he said he hopes to patent his device by the end of the year.

“There are so many incredible theses written every year and to be selected out of those is really humbling,” Devine concluded.

A full list of winners is listed below:

Christian C. Anderson ’13, Hana Bajramovic ’13, Aditya Balasubramanian ’13, Devin R. Bean ’13, Zachary N. Bernstein ’13, Raj A. Bhuptani ’13, Nicholas F. Brazeau ’13, Seth H. Cassel ’13, Yi J. Chow ’13, Andrew Cohen ’13, Bradley L. Craig ’13, Ashok K. Cutkosky ’13, Carl Daher ’13, Lauren Dai ’13, Andres A. de la Llera Kurth ’13, Aaron J. Deutsch ’13, Christopher A. Devine ’13, Louis R. Evans ’13, John L. Ezekowitz ’13, Meghan L. Ferreira ’13, Daniel J. Frim ‘14, Katie L. Gallogly-Swan ’13, Julian B. Gewirtz ’13, Noah S. Guiney ’13, James B. Gusberg ’13, Layla Hazemi ’13, Samuel F. Himel ’13, Julia Hu ’13, Jessica Hwang ’13, Ethel L. Hylton ’13, Jillian J. Jordan ’13, Laila Kasuri ’13, Adam B. Kern ’13, Seungsoo Kim ’13, Kristie T. La ’13, Adam Lam ’13, Keli Liu ’13, Sara S. Lytle ’13, Julia G. Mason ’13, Bay B. McCulloch ’13, Sarah L. McCuskee ’13, James Meixiong '13, Adam K. Mitchell ’13, Ann M. Morgan ’13, Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey ’13, Kelsey H. Natsuhara ’13, Nicole Paulet Piedra ’13, MaryGabrielle Prezioso ’13, William M. Rafey ’13, Brianna Rennix ’13, Vaida Rimeikyte ’13, Christian B. Ronald ’13, Ryan M. Rossner ’13, Ariel L. Rubin ’13, Alexander L. Sahn ’13, Mary J. Sakellariadis ’13, Laura Savarese ’13, Leeann Saw ’13, Zachary T. Sheets ’13, Andrew Shindi ’13, Alicia C. Smart ’13, Thomas J. Snyder ’13, Georgia V. Stasinopoulos ’13, Sarah C. Stein Lubrano ’13, Elliot J. Stein ’13, Abby P. Sun ’13, Gabrielle M. Tandet ’13, Aparajita Tripathi ’13, Emily S. Unger ’13, Sezen Unluonen ’13, Gili Vidan ’13, Katherine E. Warren ’13, Mark Warren ’13, Olivia G. Weeks ’13, Zoe A.Y. Weinberg ’13, Benjamin B.H. Wilcox ’13, Frankie K.S. Wong ’13, Alice Xiang ’13, Alexa K. Zahl ’13, Michele Zemplenyi '13, George W. Zuo ’13

—Staff writer Melody Y. Guan can be reached at yguan@college.harvard.edu. Follow her on Twitter @MelodyGuan.

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