Daniel Rakita awarded Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship

Daniel RakitaDaniel Rakita (CS PhD student) has just been awarded a prestigious Microsoft PhD Fellowship. Only ten are awarded every year. “These are the best PhD students in North America; they are incredibly talented and it is really an honor to support them at this important and exciting stage of their careers,” said Neel Joshi, a Senior Researcher at Microsoft’s research lab in Redmond, Washington, and chair of the Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship.

“I am thrilled to have been selected as a Microsoft Research PhD Fellow,” says Rakita. “I was really humbled to just be nominated for the fellowship by my advisors and the department a few months ago; actually having received the fellowship is a great honor.”

Rakita works with Michael Gleicher and Bilge Mutlu in the Visual Computing Lab and Human – Computer Interaction Lab. Rakita says, “The fellowship will support the robotics work that I am so passionate about. I think many of the methods we have developed here at UW-Madison have the potential to influence how people interact with, control, and teach robots in the future, so potentially forming connections and collaborations with researchers at an industry leader like Microsoft such that we could shape the future in this area together is an exciting prospect. Ultimately, I hope the human-robot interaction work developed throughout this fellowship will go on to help many people in the future, such as through applications like remote home-care or tele-nursing.”