Anna Simpson

LSA senior Anna Simpson is one of five students at the University of Michigan to win a prestigious 2022 Goldwater Scholarship, a national award that honors academic and research excellence in STEM fields. It is among the most prestigious national-level undergraduate awards. Simpson, majoring in Physics, Astronomy, and Astrophysics, with a minor in math, said she applied for the scholarship to gain more experience organizing her undergraduate experience and communicating it as a cohesive journey for her future graduate school applications.

“The application process was a great opportunity to think about my research career journey so far and share the results of my research work,” Simpson said.

During her time at the University, Simpson has been working since 2019 in Professor David Gerdes’s group pursuing research related to Trans-Neptunian objects, minor planets which orbit the Sun at a greater than average distance than Neptune.

“This recognition makes me especially proud because Anna has been a standout member of my own research group since the summer after her first year, contributing to our studies of the trans-Neptunian solar system. We’re truly fortunate to count Anna among our students,” said Professor David Gerdes.

She has also worked with Michael E. Brown at Caltech, where she published a first-author paper on Jupiter Trojans. Last summer, she studied a system of transiting exoplanets as an REU student at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Anna and her cohorts have broken the record for the highest number of Goldwater Scholarships received by University of Michigan students in a single year. She is one of five students at the University of Michigan and 417 nationally to win the award.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence Program was established by Congress in 1986 to provide support for highly qualified STEM students who plan to pursue a Ph.D. and research career in these fields. Goldwater Scholars usually go on to top Ph.D. programs that are highly competitive for graduate funding such as NSF Graduate Research Fellowships.

You may read the entire article celebrating her accomplishment and the other award winners in the Michigan Daily.

More Information:

Professor David Gerdes