The University of Cambridge in England has announced the 2017 Gates Cambridge Scholars from the United States. Thirty-six students were selected for this scholarship, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for graduate study at the university.
Among the students is Nicholas Ahamed, a graduate of Wayzata High School. In his biography, Ahamed wrote: “As a Muslim in post-9/11 America, my loyalties are constantly questioned. The bigotry I have faced demonstrates to me the inequalities still prevalent in the America. All too aware of these, my research at Stanford University focused on bringing rigorous methodologies to questions of politics, race and voting. My thesis examining Islamophobia in America synthesized the lessons of my Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and my minor in Statistics. Subsequently, I served as a data scientist at civic analytics where I provided data-driven strategic recommendations and targeting guidance to PACs in the 2016 election.”
As a scholar, the St. John’s college student hopes to tie these experiences together to better understand voting. “I would like to develop an election-specific, individual-level measure of voter turnout that accurately predicts the likelihood that an individual will cast a ballot. Not only will this research improve our theory of voting, but also better enable political practitioners to identify those citizens who need a push to vote. When organizations transform more non-voters into voters, our elections are more vibrant and our democracy is better off for it,” said Ahamed.
The prestigious postgraduate scholarship program – which fully funds postgraduate study and research in any subject at the University of Cambridge – was established through a $210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000.