May 18, 2006

The Orange County Register

UCI senior receives fellowship

By Slav Kandyba

Grant pays for three years of graduate study in exchange for 21-year-old's contribution to research and teaching.

For the next three years, Arthur Uy Asuncion Jr. won't have to worry about how he will pay for graduate school.

The 21-year-old Cypress resident and UC Irvine senior has received a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The financial grant pays for three years of graduate study in exchange for his contribution to research and teaching.

Since arriving on campus in 2002 from Calvary Chapel High in Costa Mesa, Asuncion has been involved in research. He specialized in distributed and parallel computing and has developed an interest in artificial intelligence. In an interview, Asuncion outlined his plans.

Q: When did you decide to get into the computer science field? I really liked computers...growing up, playing games. I was dabbling with...programming. I thought it was an interesting field and is a really good industry.

Q: Can you explain what you are researching? Artificial intelligence is basically trying to get the computer to perform human-like tasks. The area that I have been working is... article information. It's related to Google but kind of taking it to the next level. We worked with a bunch of academic articles, processing the raw text and letting the computer figure out which articles are related.

Q: What will the fellowship allow you to do? This fellowship is going to fully fund my graduate education and it will allow me to work on the topic that I proposed...trying to do cross-disciplinary work between distributed computing and artificial intelligence.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish after completing the graduate study? I hope to - after I get my doctorate - become a professor or a full-time researcher and make contributions to the artificial intelligence (field).
UCI senior receives fellowship