Two seniors named Marshall Scholars

Dec. 5, 2018, 5:40 a.m.

Deepti Kannan ’19 and Aneesh Pappu ’19 were named Marshall Scholars on Monday, receiving funding for graduate education at a United Kingdom university of their choice.

Founded in 1953, the Marshall Scholarship annually selects up to 40 students to pursue graduate studies at a British university. The British Parliament presents the recognitions in honor of former U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall for his creation of the Marshall Plan, which assisted in the economic recovery of Western Europe following the second World War.

Kannan to study at Cambridge

Kannan, an honors student studying engineering physics, will attend the University of Cambridge in pursuit of a Master of Philosophy with an emphasis in chemistry as well as a Master of Advanced Study degree in the highest level of the Mathematical Tripos, the United Kingdom’s collegiate math education.

The intersection of these fields will allow Kannan to address problems in biophysics and find practical solutions to abstract issues. She has already started doing so at Stanford by publishing research related to engineering, chemistry and oncology, as well as through her work in the Stanford Society of Women Engineers and Physics Undergraduate Women and Gender Minorities at Stanford, of which she is a co-founder and co-president.

“I am excited to pursue my passion for biophysics research at the University of Cambridge by learning cutting-edge simulation techniques and broadening my theoretical physics background,” Kannan said.

Kannan is currently involved in musical arts at Stanford through the a capella group Stanford Harmonics and the Western classical choir group the Stanford University Singers, and said she looks forward to “singing in one of Cambridge’s infamous choirs” as she connects “with students and scientists from around the world.”

Pappu to study at Oxford

Pappu is a symbolic systems major drawn to the relationship between social policy and machine learning. He intends to pursue his Master of Science degree in comparative social policy at the University of Oxford as well as a Master of Philosophy degree with an emphasis in machine intelligence.

In our current world, people have their prison sentences guided by algorithms, are targeted for predatory loans based on AI recommendation systems and are even made victims of hate crimes fueled by content proliferated on social media platforms,” Pappu said of what drew him to his chosen fields of study. 

For the past six months, Pappu has been working at the software company Sisu Data with Stanford professor Peter Bailis, where he has been building technology to make artificial intelligence (AI) more accessible to those who lack a technical background in the field.

Pappu was also one of the earliest members of the Tinder AI team, where he worked to aid computers in mimicking human vision. At Stanford, he has worked as a computer research assistant at Pande Lab, directed by Stanford professor Vijay Pande, where he has co-authored papers in computer science and structural biology.

Currently, Pappu is a counselor and nonprofit counseling coordinator for Camp Kesem, a student group which provides support services for children whose parents have been affected by cancer.

With a four percent acceptance rate, the Marshall Scholars program selects students who possess the potential for academic and personal growth while strengthening the alliance between the U.S. and U.K.


Contact Leily Rezvani at lrezvani ‘at’

Leily Rezvani is the managing editor of podcasts and a desk editor of news. She is a sophomore majoring in Symbolic Systems in hopes of better understanding the intersection between technology and the humanities. Leily has interned for National Public Radio, Google Arts and Culture, the United Nations Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Contact Leily at lrezvani ‘at’

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