Three UW students have been honored as medalists for having the strongest academic record in their class for the previous year. The medalists each receive a gift of $5,000 to be applied to their education and are honored at a private reception held at the residence of the UW president.
Chad Klumb has been named the freshman medalist. Klumb attended River Ridge High School in Lacey, where his family lives. At the UW he is planning to major in mathematics and also possibly computer science. His honors include the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship, the UW Undergraduate Scholar Award and the Gary Kildall Endowed Scholarship.
After completing his undergraduate degree, Klumb plans to go to graduate school and eventually become a math professor.
Pavan Vaswani has been named the sophomore medalist. Vaswani attended Skyview High School in Vancouver, where his family lives. At the UW he is majoring in computer science, neurobiology and biochemistry.
Vaswani is a Goldwater Scholar, a Mary Gates Scholar and a Washington Scholar. He also has received the Research Fellowship for Advanced Undergraduates. He is currently working in a laboratory in the Department of Neurological Surgery, where he is developing a device to measure brain pressure non-invasively using ultrasound.
After completing his undergraduate degree, Vaswani plans to pursue a program through which he can receive an M.D. and a Ph.D. Ultimately, he is planning a career in medical research.
He says conducting research has provided his most memorable experiences at the UW. “Working in a lab side by side with Ph.D.s, experts in the field; finding solutions to questions with no known answer; applying several seemingly unrelated fields of science to a real world applicable project; making something work — it’s a lot of fun.”
Ting-You Wang has been named the junior medalist. Wang, who actually graduated in December, majored in computer engineering and mathematics. His home is in Kent; he attended Kentlake High School. Wang entered the UW through the Academy of Young Scholars. He was on the Dean’s List for every quarter he attended the UW, in both the colleges of engineering and arts & sciences.
Wang received a Microsoft endowment scholarship and a departmental scholarship in computer science and engineering. He also has received the Gullickson Award for outstanding juniors in mathematics and the second year honors calculus award.
Wang currently works at Amazon.com. He plans to go on to graduate school, with a focus on machine learning or cryptography. Eventually he would like to become a university professor, “sharing my knowledge and impacting people as many of my professors have done for me,” he says.
Wang says his most pleasant experience at the UW was recognizing that faculty were so accessible. “They would actually encourage students to go and speak with them,” he says. “This type of environment made the class so much more enjoyable.”
The reception for the medalists will be held on Thursday, May 1.