Incoming Ph.D. Student Kristi Belcher Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Kristi Belcher holding her pet dog

The CIS Department congratulates incoming Ph.D. student Kristi Belcher on being awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. This program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students so they can become leaders in research, teaching, and innovation in science and engineering. GRF awards are highly competitive, with a historic funding rate of approximately 10%. The fellowship will support Kristi's research for three years, via stipend, tuition, and travel support.

Kristi previously received her B.S. from Texas State University (summa cum laude), and graduated high school from St. Agnes Academy located in Houston, TX. She was inspired to do computer science research by an NSF REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) at the University of Texas at Dallas and by attending a Grace Hopper Celebration to present her REU results. After these experiences, she began doing research at Texas State with Dr. Martin Burtscher as part of the Efficient Computing Laboratory. Her work culminated in a thesis, "Multi-GPU Parallelization of Irregular Algorithms."

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship is not the first award recognizing Kristi's potential. In 2016, she won the James and Elizabeth Camp Endowed Scholarship, the Texas State University Computer Science Department Scholarship, the Durrenberger Scholarship for Women in Science, the Joan K. Thompson Scholarship, and the Suzanne B. Patenaude Scholarship. In 2015, she won the Texas State University Government Scholarship, and, in 2014, Texas Space Crew Memorial STEM Scholarship. Kristi also was active in pursuing internships during her undergraduate experience, including internships at Apple, Qualcomm, and ExxonMobil.

Kristi will be joining CIS's CDUX lab. She will be continuing her focus on efficient usage of many-core architectures (especially GPUs), and she plans to pursue this topic in the context of high-performance computing. In addition to her Ph.D. studies, Kristi's future plans include internships at national research labs, attending conferences, and participating in and adding to the Department's social offerings.