Radcliffe Institute Honors Outstanding Undergraduate Work

Claire Atwood, Sitan Chen, Ryan Chow Receive Fay Prize
From left: Harvard students Claire Atwood, Ryan Chow, Dean Lizabeth Cohen, and Sitan Chen. Photo by Jessica BrilliFrom left: Harvard students Claire Atwood, Ryan Chow, Dean Lizabeth Cohen, and Sitan Chen. Photo by Jessica Brilli
May 18, 2016

Today, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study awarded the Captain Jonathan Fay Prize to three graduating Harvard College seniors who demonstrated the most imaginative and original work on their theses.

The 2016 Fay Prize recipients were chosen from 64 Thomas Hoopes Prize winners for outstanding scholarly work or research.

The winners’ areas of concentration include Slavic languages and literatures, mathematics and computer science, and human developmental and regenerative biology, respectively:

  • Claire Atwood, Transfiguring History: Two Epic Poems about Peter the Great, 1803–1810, who examined never-before studied literature in her thesis about Russian poetics and state ideology in the 19th century. During her undergraduate studies, Atwood also embarked on a project with the 2012–2013 Radcliffe fellow and linguistics professor Angelika Kratzer through the Radcliffe Research Partnership program to uncover the semantics of expressions.
  • Sitan ChenGeometry in Algorithms and Complexity, whose thesis work answered a decade-old question about holographic algorithms and shed new light on understanding tasks that can be solved by computer and those that are so complex they are not solvable.
  • Ryan Chow, Lineage-specifying Transcription Factors Dictate Squamous Transformation of the Lung, whose research posits that the cause of a certain type of lung cancer occurs when lung cells switch identity to that of esophageal cells.

“Radcliffe is no longer home to its own undergraduates, but we strive to enrich Harvard students’ undergraduate education beyond the classroom in many ways,” said Dean Lizabeth Cohen, who presented the students with the Fay Prize. “We are committed to individually initiated research, so it is particularly fitting for the Institute to recognize the original work of these remarkable undergraduates.”  

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