UK Biology Grad Student Wins Prestigious Blue Waters Fellowship

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 3, 2016) University of Kentucky doctoral student Paul Hime has been awarded the Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Hime, a graduate student in Associate Professor David Weisrock's lab in the Department of Biology, is one of only 10 students across the country who has been selected for the program.

The NCSA's Blue Waters Fellowship will give Hime access to one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world — the Blue Waters supercomputer. He will also receive a $38,000 stipend, up to $12,000 in tuition allowance, an allocation of up to 50,000 node-hours on the computing system, and funds for travel to a Blue Waters-sponsored symposium to present research progress and results.

"Access to extremely powerful supercomputing resources is vital to my research, and the Blue Waters Fellowship through the NCSA provides unprecedented opportunities to advance this work," Hime said.

Hime is an aspiring evolutionary biologist, whose research centers on diversity among different organisms. Specifically, his research seeks to reconstruct evolutionary relationships among amphibians, using new computational and statistical approaches, to better understand and conserve their biological diversity.

Hime credits Weisrock and others in the Department of Biology and Center for Computational Sciences as being instrumental to his research and scholarship thus far.

"Dr. Weisrock has allowed me the intellectual freedom to pursue risky projects, to ask big questions, and to learn to become an independent scientist," Hime said.

He looks forward to finishing his dissertation research and gaining new computational skills from his work with NCSA researchers. After graduating from UK with his doctoral degree, Hime plans to continue his work as an academic researcher.  

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