University of Rochester

University of Rochester Student Wins Goldwater Scholarship

April 9, 2003

University of Rochester junior Gautam Altekar has been selected to receive one of 300 Goldwater Scholarships to be awarded nationally for the upcoming academic year.

A graduate of Plano East Senior High School in Plano, Texas, Altekar is the son of Sita Altekar of Plano and the late Deepak Altekar. He is majoring in computer science and minoring in mathematics at the University and will graduate in 2004.

At the University Altekar has worked with two faculty members- Sandhya Dwarkadas, associate professor of computer science, and John Huelsenbeck, former assistant professor of biology-researching an algorithm to compute evolutionary trees using a supercomputer. He has written a paper on the research that will appear in Bioinformatics. Altekar also is developing a system to make it easier to write programs for supercomputers. In addition, he is studying the violin at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester and is on the Outside Speakers Committee, a student group that brings well-known speakers to campus.

One of three students at the University to be awarded a Goldwater Scholarship this year, Altekar will receive a grant of up to $7,500, which can be used to cover tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

The Goldwater Scholarship, which is endowed by the U.S. Congress to honor the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, is designed to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields. The Goldwater Foundation has awarded more than 3,800 scholarships since 1986. This year, 1,093 students were nominated for a scholarship.

The University of Rochester (on the web at is one of the smallest of the most distinguished private universities in the country. Fewer than 3,700 undergraduates are enrolled in its College, the home of arts, sciences, and engineering programs. College learning centers on the individual with a core mission of research and discovery for each student.