Baylor Graduate Student Receives Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship

News Photo 5184
George Montanez
July 7, 2011

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Baylor University graduate student George Montanez has been accepted into the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship program, which aids and funds students pursuing doctoral degrees.

As part of the fellowship, Montanez will receive a $20,000 annual stipend for three years that can be used over a five year term. This also will allow Montanez to accept the NSF Fellowship offer that was offered to him in the spring.

"I was thrilled," Montanez said. "I had not expected to receive a second fellowship, especially after all the good blessings I had received my final semester of school."

These "blessings" included acceptance into the doctoral program at Carnegie Mellon University, the NSF Fellowship award offer, an award from Baylor's computer science department and the news of a baby on the way.

"It reminded me that the Lord can make your path straight when you follow him and that he's always faithful to provide for all needs," said Montanez.

Montanez successfully defended his dissertation on May 25 and will graduate from Baylor in August with a master's degree in computer science.

At Carnegie Mellon University, Montanez will conduct research in the machine learning department and study the relationship between conservation of information in computational search and inductive learning in machines.

The fellowships he received will fund his doctoral degree, allowing him more freedom in his research, he said.

"I could not have done anything without the tremendous support of the Baylor family and their willingness to assist me in my journey," Montanez said. "I am grateful to all the people who helped in the process including Elizabeth Vardaman, Paul Simmons, Dr. Walter Bradley, Dr. Robert Marks, Dr. Greg Speegle, Dr. Greg Hamerly and Dr. Carolyn Skurla."

Montanez will move to Pittsburgh, Pa. to begin his research at the end of July.

For more information on the Ford Foundation Fellowship program click here.

by Emilly Martinez, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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