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Two UNC-Chapel Hill doctoral students in computer science are among 15 nationwide and in Canada to receive 2013 Google PhD Fellowships.

Yunchao Gong received the fellowship in machine perception and Yinqian Zhang received the fellowship in computer security. Additional fellowships were awarded to doctoral students in Australia, China, India and Europe, totaling 39 Google fellows.

“From all around the globe, these 39 Ph.D. students represent the fifth class in the program’s history, a select group recognized by Google researchers and their institutions as some of the most promising young academics in the world,” said Michael Rennaker of Google University Relations in announcing the fellowship recipients.

During the two-year fellowships, Google will provide tuition and fees, a $33,000 yearly stipend over nine months of the academic year, a research mentor and a possible third-year extension at Google’s discretion.

The Department of Computer Science nominated Gong and Zhang for the fellowships.

“Yinqian’s work is on security for cloud computing, a very important line of research to ensure privacy. As Internet image collections grow to huge numbers of pictures, Yunchao’s research on large-scale image search is becoming increasingly critical,” said Anselmo Lastra, chairman of the Department of Computer Science. “The Google Fellowships recognize the important contributions of these two young researchers who are to be congratulated on their accomplishments.”

Published July 23, 2013.