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Three Harvard Students Win Rhodes Scholarships

12.1.14

Oxford University

Oxford University

Photograph by iStock Images

The Rhodes Trust has announced that two Harvard students have been awarded American Rhodes Scholarships this fall:

  • Ruth Fong ’15, a computer-science concentrator, from Somerset, New Jersey, and Mather House; and
  • Benjamin Sprung-Keyser ’15, an economics concentrator, from Los Angeles and Kirkland House.

The Trust provided the following descriptions of the two winners.

Fong is “majoring in Computer Science. Her senior thesis focuses on how computers can intuitively identify and perceive objects in a way that more closely mimics the human brain. She was chosen to teach three undergraduate computer science courses, including one for graduate students as well. She won a highly competitive scholarship from Apple for women in technology, and a Tech in the World Fellowship to work on infectious disease data in Tanzania. Ruth is also extremely active as an advocate for autism-related causes, and was a director of Big Sibs program in Boston’s Chinatown. She is a member of a dance troupe and enjoys both hip-hop and traditional Chinese dance. Ruth plans to do the M.Sc. in Mathematics and Foundations in Computer Science and the M.Sc. in Computer Science at Oxford.”

Sprung-Keyser is “concentrating in Economics. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior, and with a perfect academic record, his interests focus on labor economics, and particularly issues relating to unemployment. His two-man team won the 2014 World Universities Debating Championship and in 2013, he was the youngest national champion ever of the American Parliamentary Debate Association. Ben won the Young Playwrights Inc. National Playwriting Competition; his play was performed in New York City in 2012. He organized a program to teach debate skills to disadvantaged students in Boston, a program that has been expanded to students in China. He is research assistant to Professor Larry Summers, and for the president of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Ben plans to do the M.Phil. in Economics at Oxford.”

The Harvard Crimson report on the Rhodes winners appears here.

Read the Rhodes announcement, and short biographies of all 32 winners from the United States, at the Rhodes Trust website.

A German Rhodes was subsequently awarded to:

  • Friederike “Fritzi” Reuter ’14, an economics concentrator and former Quincy House resident.

According to the Rhodes Trust, Reuter has been working since graduation at Cornerstone Research, “an economic consulting firm, on expert testimony in litigation. At Harvard and at economic research institutes, Friederike conducted research in labor economics and wrote her thesis on the long-term effects of graduating high school in a poor labor market. She was elected early to Phi Beta Kappa and spent a semester studying abroad in Southern France. Outside of the classroom, she was part of the organizing committee of several conferences and served as a Peer Advising Fellow for Harvard freshmen. Friederike also enjoyed playing golf on the Harvard varsity women’s golf team and on a competitive international level and is an avid runner.”

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