Computer Science, Math Whizes Wood-Doughty, Jones Rate Goldwater Scholarships

3 May 2013

Carleton College juniors Zach Wood-Doughty ‘14 (Madison, Wisc.) and Nick Jones ’14 (Evanston, Ill.) have earned the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. John Cho ’14 (Los Angeles) earned an honorable mention.

Both of Carleton’s winners are computer science and math double majors. Only 14 of the 271 students who were awarded Goldwater Scholarships were computer science majors, marking a major accomplishment for those Carleton departments and the two students.

The Goldwater Scholarship tries to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.

Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually. Mrs. Peggy Goldwater Clay, the Chair of the Trustees, announced 271 Goldwater scholarships this year.

A computer science and math double major, Wood-Doughty wants to earn a PhD after college in computational linguistics, which he could use to design and develop software that changes the way computers help and interact with people.

“I feel honored to have won a Goldwater Scholarship, and am privileged to have such supportive parents and excellent professors. I’d particularly like to thank Professor David Liben-Nowell for all his help and guidance in studying Massive Online Open Courses and applying for the Scholarship,” said Wood-Doughty. “For me, the Scholarship offers a boost of encouragement for future study in computer science.”

Wood-Doughty credits a very intense academic course load with preparing him for graduate school. He served as captain of the men’s hockey and volleyball club teams, as well as president of the karate club.

Over the past two summers, he applied his interest in computer science interning at Epic, a small game startup, and PerBlue, a mobile gaming company. He will work at Microsoft this summer.

Also a computer science and math double major, Jones hopes to earn a PhD in statistics after college, which he could use to conduct research in machine learning and provide enrichment opportunities for high school students in math and computer science.

“I’m greatly honored and incredibly excited to have received a Goldwater Scholarship,” Jones said. “I am grateful for all the opportunities that I’ve received throughout my education in high school and at Carleton, and particularly appreciate the guidance provided by Carleton faculty.”

Jones credits his math and computer science classes at Carleton with providing his inspiration. Jones said, “The Carleton faculty in these departments have provided great learning opportunities, and really cultivate a sense of curiosity in their subjects.”

Last summer, Jones engaged in computational cancer research at Stanford Medical School. In addition, Jones has co-directed the TOPSoccer program in the past two years, a soccer program for youth with special needs run by the ACT Center. At Carleton, Jones has worked for the IT help desk, web services and as a TA/prefect for the computer science department.

In awarding scholarships, the Board of Trustees considered the nominee’s field of study and career objectives and the extent to which that individual has the commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field.

For more information on the Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education program, visit

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