Westminster's Chrono Nu Receives Prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

Apr 16, 2014

April 16, 2014 Award given to top math, science and engineering undergraduates across the country SALT LAKE CITY - Imagine looking at your desktop and controlling your computer with the power of your thoughts-no keyboard, phone or mouse involved. Sounds pretty "sci-fi," yet Westminster College's Chrono Nu is looking to create a system that can do just that. Nu, a neuroscience and mathematics major, was recently selected to receive the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, one of the most prestigious undergraduate academic honors in the country. He is one of only 283 undergraduate students in the 2014-15 academic year selected for the award given to students in the science, engineering and mathematics field. "When I applied for the Goldwater Scholarship, I thought that maybe my ideas about neuroscience would be too esoteric or far-reaching for this foundation to approve of," said Nu, who is currently a senior at the college. "I find immense vindication in that my current research and future research intentions have been selected for this honorable award." Over the past year, Nu has been leading a team of Westminster students and faculty to create a brain-computer interface (BCI) using artificial intelligence and electroencephalography that will "fully operate any normal computer with only your brain." The project is called the EggLink Project, and Nu and his team hope to raise the funds to continue their research over the next few months. Nu, who is a high school dropout and first-generation college student, hopes to eventually earn a Ph.D. in neural engineering, specifically focusing on BCI. "Receiving this award will aid substantially in my pursuit of graduate school in a neural engineering program so that I can continue to work on brain-computer interfacing technologies," he added. "I'm excited about the opportunities that it will afford in terms of becoming a professional scientist and engineer in a deeply interesting field." In addition to Nu's neuroscience degree, his self-initiated exploration of fields such as artificial intelligence, math, and computer science, as well as BCI research helped contribute to his receipt of the award. "Chrono's Goldwater Scholarship is a validation of the excellent quality of undergraduate research happening at Westminster College," said Tim Dolan, Westminster's coordinator of national fellowships. "The Goldwater Scholarship is a prestigious award reserved for the best and the brightest science students in the nation. We are proud of Chrono and proud to have played a role in preparing him as a scientist destined to make a positive impact on the world." This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,166 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. Virtually all recipients intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective. Goldwater Scholars have very impressive academic qualifications that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 80 Rhodes Scholarships, 117 Marshall Awards, 112 Churchill Scholarships, and numerous other distinguished fellowships such as the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships. About the Goldwater Foundation: The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields. Since its first award in 1989, the foundation has bestowed 7,163 scholarships worth approximately 46 million dollars. The trustees plan to award about 300 scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year.

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About Westminster

Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.

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