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Reyhaneh Jabbarvand, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Informatics, was recently awarded a Google Ph.D. Fellowship in programming technology and software engineering. Google started the program almost a decade ago to support graduate students doing exceptional work in computer science and related disciplines. This year, Google named 39 new Fellows from North America, Europe and the Middle East, providing the recipients with financial support and matching them with a Google Research Mentor.

Students must be nominated by an eligible university and cannot directly apply for the fellowship. Jabbarvand’s Ph.D. advisor, Informatics Professor Sam Malek, voiced his support during the nomination process, asserting that “her software development skills are first-rate, her technical background broad, her thirst for knowledge seemingly insatiable, and her potential for conducting research of the highest quality outstanding.”

As a Google Ph.D. Fellow, Jabbarvand will continue her research into mobile app security and energy consumption. “With the support of a Google Research Mentor included in this fellowship,” says Jabbarvand, “I hope to integrate the tools and techniques I developed through my research into Google products, such as Firebase and Android Studio.” She adds that the goal is to reduce energy inefficiency and vulnerability in mobile apps to ultimately improve the user experience.

Jabbarvand explains that for Ph.D. students, “the most important concern is whether the research they’re doing will be practical and useful.” This fellowship serves as a source of validation. “Being awarded this prestigious fellowship,” she says, “means the results of my prior research and my ideas for future work can be used by Google and benefit millions of users of Google products.”

— Shani Murray