Computer science and engineering student wins Google Lime Scholarship

Scholarship will support Grussenmeyer's work on human-computer interaction with a focus on technologies for the blind

4/17/2014 | By: Kirstin Swagman  |

Ph.D. student William Grussenmeyer has been awarded a prestigious Google Lime Scholarship for 2014-2015.

The award, which includes a $10,000 scholarship, is awarded on the basis of academic merit to computer science students with disabilities. In addition to the scholarship, Grussenmeyer will be invited to attend the Google Scholars' Retreat in the summer of 2014. Grussenmeyer is a student in the Computer Science and Engineering Department.

Grussenmeyer, who is blind, came to the University of Nevada, Reno to work with Dr. Eelke Folmer, whose research has focused on technologies for the blind, including exercise games and indoor navigation technologies. Grussenmeyer has similar research interests.

"I am working on Human Computer Interaction for people who are blind," Grussenmeyer said. "Currently I am working on making an app for the iPad that students who are blind can draw geometric shapes for their geometry class."

Grussenmeyer was also awarded a prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation in 2013. The award, including three years of support, was awarded to only 2,000 graduate students out of more than 13,000 applicants.

"Bill has been absolutely great as a student," said Folmer. "Being blind himself, Bill possesses a unique insight into developing accessible technology."

Grussenmeyer is in his first year in the Ph.D. program, and while he isn't sure yet what he plans to do when he graduates, he's likely to continue doing what he loves.

"I've always been interested in computer science since I got my first computer at 11 or 12," said Grussenmeyer. "I took a computer science course in high school and loved it. It just clicks with me."


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