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Rutgers student receives Churchill Scholarship, plans to pursue graduate work abroad

Andrew Krapivin, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, was recently selected as 1 of 18 recipients of the Churchill Scholarship, provided annually by the Winston Churchill Foundation. – Photo by Courtesy of Andrew Krapivin

Andrew Krapivin, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, was awarded a Winston Churchill Foundation scholarship that will allow him to continue his graduate studies in computer science at Churchill College in the University of Cambridge, according to an article from Rutgers Today.

The Churchill Scholarship was created at the suggestion of former U.K. Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Churchill College offers 18 scholarships every year, which grant recipients full tuition coverage as well as round-trip plane tickets to and from the U.K. — the award's total value equates to $65,000.

As an undergraduate in the School of Arts and Sciences, Krapivin is double majoring in computer science and mathematics, the article read. In an interview with The Daily Targum, Krapivin said that he has always been interested in the two subjects and hopes to consolidate his passion through future research.

"I want to integrate all of those interests into research and just basically solve cool math problems that arise out of how computers function," he said.

Krapivin is currently researching theoretical computer science, specifically translating the foundations of the subject into applications. Since his sophomore year, Krapivin has conducted research under Martin Farach-Colton, a distinguished former professor in the University's Department of Computer Science, who now teaches at New York University.

"I took an advanced course in algorithms that (Farach-Colton) taught, and I did really well," he said. "He provided me with a lot of guidance through himself and by connecting me with other people that he works with."

For his research with Farach-Colton, Krapivin received the Novielli Prize, a computer science award given to students who showed outstanding achievement in the program. In addition to the Novielli Prize, Krapivin has received numerous accolades for academic excellence. 

In 2022, he scored the highest out of all Rutgers students in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, a distinguished mathematics competition for undergraduate students in the U.S. and Canada. He was in the top 125 of more than 3,000 students at the competition. The next year, he was named a Goldwater Scholar for his theoretical computer science research involving algorithms, according to the article. 

With respect to his undergraduate experience, Krapivin said he enjoys Rutgers due to how its campuses feature both metropolitan and natural elements, respectively citing the College Avenue campus as well as the Cook and Douglass campuses.

Ultimately, Krapivin said his favorite place at the University is the Math Undergraduate Lounge at the Hill Center on Busch campus, as he is able to meet other students majoring in mathematics.

"People like math, but they're not as interested in the heavy abstractions that a lot of math ends up doing," he said. "You imagine a fanciful world where you're solving these problems, and maybe it actually is useful, but it is like a hundred steps away from being useful, while computer science tends to be maybe ten steps from being useful."

Furthermore, Krapivin said his advice to other students seeking scholarships is to work toward an area or a subject that they may find interesting.

"If you like a certain subject, explore it as much as possible to find how you could potentially do something somewhat different and interesting," he said.

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