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Mostafa Hassan and Mitchell Wall
April 8, 2020

Engineering undergraduates earn Goldwater Scholarships

Written By: Staff

Two students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering have received 2020 Barry Goldwater Scholarships, one of the most prestigious awards in the U.S. conferred upon undergraduates studying the sciences.

Juniors Mostafa Hassan and Mitchell Wall are among 396 Goldwater Scholars named this year out of 1,343 college sophomores and juniors nominated by 461 academic institutions. As such, they’ll receive up to $7,500 in support for their senior years.

Hassan, of Greenfield, Wisconsin, will graduate in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and mathematics. He is a 2017 winner of the Wisconsin Math, Science, and Engineering Talent Search, a proctored competitive written examination, and a recipient of the prestigious Van Vleck Scholarship at UW-Madison. During his first year at UW-Madison, Hassan completed a theoretical physical chemistry project with Professor Edwin Sibert.

The following summer, he completed a number-theory project with Naser Talebizadeh Sardari, a postdoctoral fellow. The collaboration resulted in a co-authored paper that is in the process of being submitted for publication. Hassan is currently working on a tensor-rank project with mathematics Professor Jordan Ellenberg, and he is completing directed reading on dispersive partial differential equations with mathematics Professor Mihaela Ifrim in preparation for future research. Hassan plans to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics, with an interest in partial differential equations and harmonic analysis.

Wall, of Brooklyn, Wisconsin, will graduate in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering mechanics. For three years, Wall has worked in the structural dynamics laboratory of nuclear engineering and engineering physics Professor Matthew Allen, where he has earned first authorship on two articles published in the conference proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics, and co-authorship on manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Sound and Vibration and the International Journal of Mechanical Sciences.

Additionally, Wall has interned with ATA Engineering, which specializes in engineering services for the aerospace industry. He also took a leadership role with Badgerloop, a student organization that competes in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. Wall, who received a Hilldale Undergraduate Research Fellowship as a sophomore, and the prestigious national Astronaut Scholarship, will intern at SpaceX in summer 2020. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering.

Hassan and Wall are two of four Goldwater recipients from UW-Madison, along with fellow juniors Stella Ma (biochemistry and nutritional sciences) and Elizabeth Sumiec (biochemistry). Each American university may nominate up to four undergraduates for the award each year.

Congress established the Barry Goldwater Scholarship & Excellence in Education Foundation in 1986. Goldwater served in the U.S. Senate for over 30 years and challenged Lyndon B. Johnson for the presidency in 1964. The foundation aims to develop highly qualified scientists, engineers and mathematicians.