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Three Cornellians named 2011 Gates Cambridge scholars

Two Cornell undergraduates, Max Liu '11 and Allison Truhlar '11, and alumnus Ben Cole '10 have received 2011 Gates Cambridge scholarships, which support post-baccalaureate study at Cambridge University for students under age 30 from around the world.

Liu is a biology major in the College of Arts and Sciences who is minoring in East Asian studies. At Cambridge, he plans to pursue a master's in philosophy in medical genetics. He works on yeast membrane trafficking in the lab of Scott Emr, professor of molecular biology and genetics. Liu's college activities include the Neuroscience Club; the student publication Synapse, and the Fistula Free Climb, a fundraiser for the nonprofit Operation OF.

Truhlar is a biological and environmental engineering major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She will earn a master's in philosophy in zoology at Cambridge before starting a doctoral program in the United States in environmental engineering or ecology. She conducts research under Todd Walter, professor of biological and environmental engineering, on the interaction of surface water and groundwater. Truhlar is a tutor for the Cornell Learning Strategies Center and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, Community Building Works! and the local SPCA.

Cole majored in computing and information science in the College of Arts and Sciences, where he did research under professors William Arms and Geraldine Gay and graduated summa cum laude. He works for Google Inc. in Ghana. He will pursue a master's of philosophy in advanced computer science at Cambridge.

This year's 30 Gates Cambridge scholars from the United States were selected from a pool of 800 applicants. Cornell was one of only five U.S. institutions awarded more than one Gates scholarship.

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Blaine Friedlander