Kianté Brantley Receives Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant

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Kianté Brantley, a fourth-year doctoral student advised by Professor Hal Daumé III  received the prestigious Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant for 2020 for his dissertation titled “Practical Techniques for Leveraging Experts for Sequential Decisions and Predictions.”

An undergraduate and masters in computer science from University of Maryland Baltimore County, Brantley’s research focuses towards designing algorithms that efficiently integrate domain knowledge into sequential decision making problems (e.g. reinforcement learning, imitation learning and structure prediction for natural language processing).

The highly competitive award  is made through a very selective process based on the technical merit and potential for impact of the proposed dissertation research and aims to support doctoral students who are underrepresented in computing.

Brantley is one of only 10 graduate students in North America to receive the award out of the 230 applicants this year--- most competitive year- as the award reported.

 “Receiving this award is a great honor,” said Brantley. “I would like to thank all of my collaborators and mentors for believing in me and pushing me to become a better researcher each and every day.”

Prior to this Brantley also received the 2018 ACM SIGHPC/ Intel Computation and Data Science Fellowship.

In addition to the $25,000.00 USD research funding, Brantley has received an invitation to a virtual two-day Ph.D. Summit later this year. The summit intends to provide an opportunity for the awardees to present their research, meet with Microsoft researchers in their respective research areas, and receive career coaching.


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