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Indian American Student Among 17 Winston Churchill Scholarship Recipients

Indian American Student Among 17 Winston Churchill Scholarship Recipients

  • Pavan Ravindra, a senior at University of Maryland, will pursue a one-year Master of Philosophy degree in chemistry at U.K.’s Churchill College in the University of Cambridge.

Pavan Ravindra, a student at the University of Maryland, is among 17 recipients of the 2021 Winston Churchill Scholarship, for one year of Master’s study at Churchill College in the University of Cambridge in the U.K. The awards cover full tuition, a stipend, travel costs, and the chance to apply for a $2,000 special research grant.

A senior at University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, Ravindra will graduate in May with degrees in biochemistry and computer science. At Cambridge, he will pursue a one-year Master of Philosophy degree in chemistry.

“Pavan has excelled in the classroom and in his independent research efforts, with two published papers and an algorithm that is already being used by other researchers in academia and industry,” said CMNS Dean Amitabh Varshney. “The Churchill Scholarship will offer him unique opportunities to deepen his interests at the intersection of biochemistry and computer science.”

Ravindra, who is from Clarksville, Maryland, previously received a 2020 Goldwater Scholarship, a citation from the Integrated Life Sciences program in the Honors College, and a Banneker/Key Scholarship. He was named a 2020 Merrill Presidential Scholar.

On campus, Ravindra has been working in the laboratory of Pratyush Tiwary, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology since 2018. He has also worked at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, where he developed a computational model of neurons in the pre-Bötzinger complex, an area responsible for regulating intrinsic breathing patterns in humans.

In his spare time, Ravindra is president of UMD’s Rubik’s Cube Club and organizes Rubik’s cube competitions. He has ranked as high as 4th in the world for the fastest time solving a Rubik’s cube and 2nd in the world for solving it one-handed, setting five U.S. national records in the process.

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After his time in Cambridge, Ravindra plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry with a focus on computational and physical chemistry .“I am committed to expanding the role of computation in understanding chemical systems, especially in using molecular simulations,” he said. “I’m particularly interested in developing and applying approaches aimed at overcoming the limited time scales of computationally intensive molecular simulations.”

The Winston Churchill Scholarship program was established in 1963 at the request of Sir Winston Churchill as part of the founding of Churchill College, Cambridge. It fulfills his vision of deepening the U.S.-U.K partnership in order to advance science and technology on both sides of the Atlantic, ensuring our future prosperity and security. Churchill College was established in 1960 as a predominantly science and technology college and the National and Commonwealth memorial to Sir Winston Churchill. 

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