Nick Heller, PhD candidate in Computer Science, has been awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (DDF) for 2021-2022.
The DDF gives the University's most accomplished Ph.D. candidates an opportunity to devote full-time effort to an outstanding research project by providing time to finalize and write a dissertation during the fellowship year.
The award includes a stipend of $25,000 for the academic year (September-May), tuition for up to 14 thesis credits each semester (fall & spring), and subsidized health insurance through the Graduate Assistant Health Plan.
Nick's award was based on an International competition he is organizing called the 2021 Kidney and Kidney Tumor Segmentation challenge (abbreviated KiTS21). This is a competition in which teams compete to develop the best system for automatic semantic segmentation of renal tumors and surrounding anatomy. The competition aims to accelerate the development of reliable tools to address the difficulty in determing kidney cancer tissue from normal tissue. Nick is basing his dissertation on this research.