USF Marks Kalam’s Birth Anniversary with Kalam Fellowship Announcements
The University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa celebrated President Abdul Kalam’s 87th birth anniversary on October 15 in a special way. The university formally announced the name of the winner of the 2018 USF Abdul Kalam Postgraduate Fellowship and also declared the 2019 Kalam Fellowship open for applications.
Arjun Kadian was selected from an impressive group of candidates to receive this year’s fellowship for his PhD research proposal on “how misinformation spreads on social media…exploring the phenomenon of fake news and its impact.” A Master’s degree graduate in Business Analytics and Information Systems from USF’s Muma College of Business, Kadian received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pune in 2008. He worked for Infosys for 8 years before joining USF.
“I was born in Bhiwani in Haryana,” says Kadian of his background, “but
since my parents were in the armed forces I moved around a lot and studied primarily in Army Public Schools (and a couple of St. Paul’s schools) in Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana.”
While working in Mangalore at Infosys, Kadian began teaching English at an orphanage on weekends. “This was probably one of the activities that I am most proud of,” he says. “Teaching these kids allowed me to give something back to the community.”
He joined USF’s Muma College of Business in 2016 for his Master’s in Business Analytics and Information Systems. “The first course, Statistical Data Mining by Professor Anol Bhattacharjee changed the direction of my career. I requested him for an opportunity to work on a research project – and that is now a conference paper in the top information systems conference – ICIS (International Conference on Information Systems) 2018 San Francisco.”
Talking about his Fellowship-winning PhD research project, he says: “I am trying to understand why people share and believe fake news. My long term goal is to understand how misinformation spreads on social media and what countermeasures and interventions can be designed to curb this spread.”
Kadian is the third winner of the Kalam Fellowship which was launched in 2015. The first two winners, who are currently pursuing their PhDs at USF, are Avijit Sengupta, an IIT-Bombay graduate, and Veena Subramanian, who graduated from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.
Kadian considers it “an honor to get a Fellowship associated with Dr. Kalam, one of our foremost scientists.”
Dr. Roger Brindley, USF System Vice President and a frequent visitor to India, says: “USF is delighted to honor the life of President A.P.J. Kalam with our 2018-19 recipient, Arjun Kadian. The president was a good friend to our university and was a visionary scientist. He visited USF in 2012 and gave an inspiring talk to our students. We are proud to recognize his legacy and to promote an opportunity for the best and brightest students in India to study at our globally engaged university.”
The President A.P.J. Kalam Postgraduate Fellowship is awarded to Indian college graduates who plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs at the University of South Florida. The prestigious fellowship, which is only awarded to one student each academic year, offers an annual stipend of $22,000 and free tuition for up to four years.
For more information on the President A.P.J. Kalam Postgraduate Fellowship, please visit http://bit.ly/KalamFellowship.