Facebook Pays School Costs For 5 PhD Candidates

As part of their Facebook Fellowship Program, announced earlier this year, Facebook has just published the five PhD students whom they’ll be funding. According to the official announcement on the Facebook Blog today, each student selected will not only received paid tuition and fees but a few extras: a $30,000 stipend, paid conference travel and a few other unnamed “benefits.”

The five winners were selected for their “diversity of research fields” related to topics on the social web and Facebook. As per the announcement, here are the names of the winners, the schools where they’re studying, and their topic focus.

(1) Vinayak Borkar, UC Irvine. Cloud Computing.
(2) Parmit Chilan, U of Washington, Seattle. Social Computing.
(3) Leslie John, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh. Behavioral Economics.
(4) Mladen Kolar, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh. Machine Learning.
(5) Yaron Singer, UC Berkeley. Internet Economics.

As per the original announcement of this Fellowship program, the five winning students cover most of the areas that Facebook was interested in, with maybe the exception of Information Retrieval. In addition to these five Fellowship winners, 22 finalists received $500 each.

Congratulations to everyone. It’s nice to Facebook coming through like this, and hopefully more tech companies will fund studies regarding the Social Web and related topics. Of course, Facebook could benefit from such research since, as they’ve mentioned in the announcement, they have a number of challenges to solve that these winners will be studying. I wouldn’t be surprised to some or all of them being offered jobs at the company after graduation