Jack Cook, Matthew Kearney and Jupneet Singh have been selected for the 2023 cohort of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship Programme. They will begin fully-funded postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford in the UK next autumn. Each year, Rhodes awards 32 scholarships to US citizens as well as additional scholarships to citizens of non-US constituencies.
Students were supported by Associate Dean Kim Benard and the Career Guidance and Professional Development Distinguished Fellowships team, and received additional mentorship from the Presidential Committee on Distinguished Fellowships.
“Our students have worked hard throughout this process,” says Professor Tamar Schapiro, who co-chairs the committee with Professor Will Broadhead. “They were challenged to think deeply about what they want to do and who they want to be. They learned how to communicate their values and goals in powerful ways. And they developed confidence in presenting themselves to others. We are delighted that so many of them have been recognized this year, as finalists and as winners.
Jack Cook ’22
Jack Cook is an MEng student from New York who recently graduated with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. At Oxford, he plans to pursue a Masters in Internet Social Science and a Masters in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation. In the future, he plans to apply his technical skills to solving problems related to disinformation.
As an undergraduate student at MIT, Jack was the lead author of “There’s Always a Bigger Fish,” a research paper from Mengjia Yan’s lab that demonstrates how machine learning can be used as a weapon. to extract sensitive information from applications such as a web browser. His work on this project earned him the 2022 Robert M. Fano UROP Award from MIT. For his master’s thesis, in partnership with Lahey Hospital, Jack is building a digital cognitive assessment to diagnose patients with neurodegenerative diseases.
Jack also leads natural language processing initiatives at The New York Times R&D, where he built a system that answers readers’ questions about breaking news in real time. As a high school student, he was part of the founding team of Mixer, a startup focused on low-latency live streaming that was acquired by Microsoft in 2016.
Jack also served as director of HackMIT, MIT’s first annual 1,000-person hackathon, for two years. For HackMIT’s first virtual event in September 2020, he led the development of a 3D virtual platform where hackers could “walk around” and interact with each other while participating remotely.
Matt Kearney from Austin, Texas is a senior majoring in electrical engineering, computer science, and philosophy. At Oxford, he will pursue a doctorate in computer science and a doctorate in philosophy. Its goal is to rethink AI technologies and practices to both remedy their harms and reinvent them as tools for solutions to pressing societal problems such as climate change and economic inequality.
At MIT, Kearney studied theoretical quantum computing with the Quanta Research Group, computer vision for 3D scene understanding with the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), probabilistic climate downscaling with the Human Systems Lab and explainability methods for natural language models with CSAIL. He also interned at Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle company, and Google X, Google’s Moonshot factory.
Kearney was on the MIT cross country and track and field teams and served as captain for three years. He also co-founded a project in 2020 with the goal of focusing individual efforts on the most effective solutions to climate change. He and his co-founder received the PKG Fellowship and the IDEAS Fellowship to support this work. In addition, as part of his studies in the humanities, he was selected as an MIT Burchard Scholar.
In his spare time, Kearney loves to sing spontaneously, cook elaborate meals, and absolutely everything outdoors.
Jupneet Singh is a senior from Somis, California, majoring in chemistry with a flexibility in biomedical engineering and a minor in history. As a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, she intends to study for a Masters in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation. After Rhodes, she plans to attend medical school and then complete her residency as an active duty air force captain.
Singh’s career goals include serving as an Air Force trauma surgeon, then joining the United States Public Health Commissioned Corps to advocate for minority representation and culturally appropriate practices in health care. . She currently holds leadership positions in the Air Force ROTC, MIT Mock Trial, and MIT Project Sunshine, and is also involved with the PKG Center. She conducts research at the Shalek Lab on fatty liver disease and has also worked at the Nolan Lab on natural product research.
Last summer, Singh worked in drug rehabilitation centers in India and had a resume accepted at the American College of Surgeons Southern California Conference. She has worked in California at the Ventura County Family Justice Center and the Ventura County Medical Center Trauma Center and has published as first author in The American Surgeon. Singh founded a program, Pathways to Promise, to support the health of children in Ventura affected by domestic violence, and received four scholarships to support it.