2012 NSF Graduate Research Fellow Profile

Q&A with Kevin Bache
1st-year Ph.D. student in Computer Science

Kevin Bache is one of two Bren School Ph.D. students who received a coveted 2012 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The NSF GRF program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. Fellows receive three years of support, including a $30,000 annual stipend.

photo: Kevin Bache

Where are you from?
I grew up in Poland, Ohio, and Santa Fe, N.M.

What are your previous academic degrees?
A.B. in Social and Cognitive Neuroscience from Harvard College.

Why did you choose to pursue graduate studies at UCI?
UCI has fantastic machine learning. The weather isn't too bad either.

What is your current research focus? Why did you choose to go into this field of study?
Doing neuroimaging research after undergrad, I found myself increasingly frustrated with the limits of the field’s mathematical tools. I started digging deeper into the imaging methods literature and was consistently impressed by the work coming from machine learning groups. I started learning all I could about the field and two years later, here I am. My current research is still in flux, but it’s rooted in developing probabilistic modeling tools to explore complex datasets.

What are your future plans?
I'd be happy anywhere that has vibrant people and big, difficult problems.

Any tips for fellow students who may want to apply for the NSF GRFP?
The reviewers don’t have much time to spend on you. Make sure your essays present a clear, digestible narrative that explains why you’d make a good candidate. And spend more energy on the broader impacts than you think you need to.

How do you like to spend your time outside of school?
I have fantastic group of friends here at UCI, with whom I spend most of my free time. I also love to cook, climb, hike and spend time in the woods.