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Four University of Minnesota students named 2011 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars

March 30, 2011

Four University of Minnesota-Twin Cities undergraduates have been named 2011 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars. The prestigious Goldwater Scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding sophomores and juniors in mathematics, science and engineering who intend to pursue research-oriented careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The scholarships provide up to $7,500 per year for up to two years of undergraduate study. All four Goldwater Scholars are enrolled in the University Honors Program.

The four U of M students awarded are:

Sean Bowman, a junior majoring in computer engineering in the College of Science and Engineering, plans to pursue a doctorate in computer science with specializations in robotics and computer vision. Bowman has done research modeling lithium ion battery applications and developing algorithms using time-of-flight cameras for robotic stair detection under the direction of professors J. Woods Halley and Stergios Roumeliotis respectively. Bowman is a Presidential Scholar, a Josephine L. Merriam Scholar and has been awarded two Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program grants. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the French horn in the University of Minnesota Campus Orchestra. Bowman’s hometown is Minneapolis; he is a graduate of De La Salle High School.

Zijun (Jimmy) Chen, a junior majoring in mathematics and physics in the College of Science and Engineering, plans to pursue a doctorate in condensed matter physics. Under the direction of professor E. D. Dahlberg, Chen has conducted research on a variety of projects at the Magnetic Microscopy Center, including water deformation due to diamagnetism, quantification of magnetic force microscopy and domain wall pinning in permalloy nanowires. A Presidential Scholar and a National Merit Scholar, Chen is also an avid pianist and leads the viola section of the University of Minnesota Campus Orchestra. Chen, who was born in Guangzhou, China, is from Roseville, Minn., and graduated from Roseville Area High School.

Benjamin Hinton, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering in the College of Science and Engineering, intends to earn a doctorate in biomedical engineering specializing in large-scale and injury biomechanics. Under the direction of professor Robert Tranquillo, Hinton has conducted research on tissue engineering small-diameter arteries. During a summer program at the University of California-San Diego, Hinton created and tested a method to accurately estimate synovial fluid volume to within a ten percent error. Hinton is a Presidential Scholar, an Elks Most Valuable Student and recipient of YMCA’s Super Tutor Award. He also tutors chemistry at the U of M and enjoys Ultimate Frisbee. Hinton’s hometown is Berlin, Wis., where he attended Berlin High School.

Jacob Inda, a junior majoring in biochemistry in the College of Biological Sciences, plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. in molecular biology focusing on the development of clinical treatments for biochemical and genetic anomalies. Inda has co-authored a conference abstract with the research team of professor David Bernlohr on quantitative proteomics and mitochondrial protein carbonylation. He has also co-authored an article with professor Jonathan Schilling on the ability of certain fungi to resist high copper concentrations and has worked on a bioinformatics project with the research team of professor Chad Myers. Inda is a Presidential Scholar, a State of Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholar and works as a computational biology teaching assistant. He is also a hospital volunteer, Eagle Scout and was valedictorian of Aquinas High School in La Crosse, Wis. Inda’s hometown is Onalaska, Wis.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. This year, 275 scholars were selected nationwide from a field of 1,095 students who were nominated by their colleges and universities. Each institution may nominate up to four students. This year marks the fifth time that all four of the University’s nominees have been selected. A total of 48 University of Minnesota-Twin Cities undergraduates have been Goldwater Scholars since the program’s inception in 1986.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities students who are interested in applying for the scholarship in the future may consult the Office for National and International Scholarships,

For more information on the Goldwater Scholarship, go to

Twin Cities Campus: