Quoted Fellows

"As I prepare to move on in my career, the Hertz community becomes an increasingly valuable resource. I plan to work with Hertz alum Philip Eckhoff on modeling of HIV progression and transmission for a few months following graduation, and then seek a postdoctoral position again related to HIV vaccines or therapies."
Anna Bershteyn, PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 2010

The Hertz Fellowship…"has made a huge impact both in my choice of problems—where I can work on longer-term, riskier questions as well as occasional small intriguing ones - and in my ability to solve them, through the funding for computer equipment freed up by my advisor not having to pay my salary."
Brian Camley
University of California, Santa Barbara    Hertz Fellow 2012

"Given the diverse areas of Mars research in which I have been involved, it is possible that substitutions, additions, or subtractions of dissertation chapters may occur. Nevertheless, I (had) a relatively clear mental image of what work to be done to complete my degree. Working on these diverse projects and traveling around the world to attend conferences would likely have been impossible without the Hertz Fellowship, and I continue to be most grateful to the Foundation for its support."
James Wray
Cornell University    Hertz Fellow 2011

"Hertz Fellowship was crucial in allowing me to have the support to explore research topics that excited me most, which turned the luxury of intellectual freedom to a reality of daily life since my Ph.D. years."
Mung Chiang
Stanford University    Hertz Fellow 2004

“My research led me to investigate crucial systems in devices related to quantum information and computation. I definitely was able to pursue the experiments that I wanted to do because of the unrestricted funding of the Hertz Fellowship.”
Matthew Pelliccione
Stanford University    Hertz Fellow 2012

"This incredible academic freedom is only surpassed by the extraordinary students, entrepreneurs, and professors I have had the privilege of meeting through Hertz Foundation events, such as the Fellows retreats and the Hertz Symposium."
Gleb Akselrod
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 2012

"Fabrication work at Stanford has taken longer than expected, and a freedom from teaching responsibilities as well as a large enough stipend has allowed me to continue traveling back and forth between Princeton and Stanford as necessary."
Dario Amodei
Princeton University    Hertz Fellow 2011

"I would not have had the freedom to pursue this project were it not for your support."
Michael Busch
California Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 2010

"My Hertz Foundation Fellowship has allowed me to reach this point, by providing the resources for investigating this new direction without distraction."
Richard Darst
Columbia University    Hertz Fellow 2012

“From conversations with Hertz Fellows, I learned to think more broadly for solutions to scientific challenges, much more so than I would have without the Hertz Community.”
G. Edward Marti
University of California, Berkeley    Hertz Fellow 2012

"Additional Hertz Fellow benefits I enjoyed this year were the Invention Session with Intellectual Ventures and Applied Minds, including the prep work with the current Fellows, and the Symposium last winter."
Nicholas Cizek
Stanford University    Hertz Fellow 2010

(The Hertz Fellowship)…"was very helpful to have the ability to discuss challenges I was facing with such knowledgeable and helpful people (Dr. Weaver) who were outside of my immediate research group at MIT.  In addition, the Hertz symposia and retreats were always very engaging and interesting, and provided a great opportunity to discuss all kinds of interesting ideas with a wonderful group of people."
Brett Bethke
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 2010

"The independence granted by the Hertz Fellowship was essential for my graduate study, as it enabled me to work with a spectacular advisor even as he moved between universities. The Fellowship transcends boundaries, and frees individuals to explore and create on a global stage."
Po-Shen Loh
Princeton University    Hertz Fellow 2009

The Hertz Foundation (has been) "an incredible resource for me—and a support network to go to (and) the freedom to choose the projects I work on. Probably most importantly, the other Hertz Fellows have been a very valuable resource to me. Collectively there is expertise on almost any subject I would want, and it has been very useful to know people to contact for help with research questions."
Michael Schnall-Levin
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 2011

"The Hertz Fellowship changed my life. It allowed me to follow my instincts and explore whole fields and also nooks-&-crannies with a freedom that might have taken most of a career to construct from less efficient funding strategies."
John Frank
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow

The support from the Hertz Foundation Fellowship "has allowed me to explore many different topics and to find my own path in my research. In the end I believe it will help me to become a truly independent researcher."
Kenneth Franko
Stanford University    Hertz Fellow 2011

The Hertz Fellowship…"helped me to obtain resources I need (textbooks, computer software, conference travel, etc.), and…helpful for my thesis advisor, as he is no longer required to pay my tuition, stipend and fees."
David Breslow
University of California, San Francisco    Hertz Fellow 2010

"I benefited tremendously from the Hertz Fellowship. It (allowed me) to spend time on my research—and on a few other activities that help keep me sane and happy rather than spending time worrying about money. The other Fellows are a wonderful source of both camaraderie and inspiration."
Monika Schleier-Smith, PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 2011

The Hertz Fellowship…"give(s) me the leeway to choose the questions I am most interested in and to utilize the techniques I consider most appropriate even if they lie outside the scope of our lab."
Maya Chandru Overland
University of California, San Francisco    Hertz Fellow 2013

The Hertz Fellowship "changed my graduate experience…having the freedom…has actually been the catalyst for the possibility of graduating so early (and) choosing my own research directions."
Ankur Moitra
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 2011

“The generous support of the Hertz Foundation allowed me to pursue a risky yet exciting research project, which has grown in scope and potential impact.”
Anand Oza
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 2014

“When I began my Hertz Fellowship I started in an experimental group and switched to a theoretical group to pursue what I was most interested in learning. With the Hertz Fellowship, I was able to make that change without having to find a new source of funding.”
Peter Scherpelz
University of Chicago    Hertz Fellow 2013

“Throughout my graduate career I was fortunate to have had the support of the Hertz Foundation, which became like family to me.”
Floris van Breugel
California Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 2013

"The Hertz Fellowship gave me the freedom to choose a research project that was interesting to me. The Hertz Fellowship is unique and is miles ahead of other fellowships in terms of individual support given to each Fellow and the community that it creates."
Paul Abel
University of Texas at Austin    Hertz Fellow 2014

"Hertz pushed me to realize the importance for theoretical work to have overarching practical motivations and to ask where I can apply the trajectory of what I’ve learned. My connections with Hertz Fellows will continue to be invaluable in the years to come."
Alan T. Deckelbaum
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 2014

“I’ve been challenged as a researcher through my discussions with others in the Hertz Community at Hertz workshops and retreats. It’s an extraordinarily stimulating academic environment that I would not be able to find elsewhere!”
Po-Ling Loh
University of California, Berkeley    Hertz Fellow 2014

"The Hertz Fellowship "afforded me the comfort of feeling less constrained by cost so that I can think more about interesting science and the best way to discover scientific truth [and] allowed me to switch from thinking about the cost of an experiment to the cost of missing out on a key scientific discovery."
Arvind Ravi
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 2011

“The support and guidance provided by the Hertz Foundation gave me the freedom to pursue a topic that was risky, and to see it through until the end. I am very grateful for that opportunity.”
Jeff Thompson
Harvard University    Hertz Fellow 2014

“I enjoy working on challenging problems that keep me thinking, learning, and working with great people. Following my Hertz Fellowship, I’ve chosen to apply my experience to solve big problems with radical technological solutions.”
Darcy Grinolds
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 2014

“The Hertz Fellowship’s ‘freedom to innovate’, to me, means—not just the freedom but the responsibility to propose bold risky ideas, to change what you work on to pursue what is most impactful, and to collaborate unrestrictedly across fields and institutions to build integrated teams that can solve entire problems.”
Adam Marblestone
Harvard University    Hertz Fellow 2014

“The collaborative event at DARPA with the Hertz Fellows was an outstanding opportunity to work outside the box with Hertz alumni and younger Fellows. There is gravitas to being named a Hertz Fellow because people know you think like an engineer and an innovator. No one trains engineers like the Hertz Fellowship.”
Joseph Rosenthal
Cornell University    Hertz Fellow 2014

“The Hertz Fellows’ Community broadened my experience as a PhD student, and allowed me to think through research problems with broader scope.”
Melanie Smith
University of California, San Francisco    Hertz Fellow 2014

“Having comprehensive external funding from the Hertz Foundation freed me to pursue the scientific problems in which I was truly interested. Networking within the Hertz Foundation has placed me at common tables with high-level executives, generals, astronauts, and entrepreneurs.”
Jeffrey K. Weber
Stanford University    Hertz Fellow 2014

The Hertz Fellowship was "a great help in starting my new thesis project. In the summer I was supported by the LANL high explosives modeling project to which I am contributing; I understand that it will provide further support as of the expiration of my Fellowship, but it was quite useful to be able to start the work without needing immediate funding from the project."
S. Davis Herring
University of California, Davis    Hertz Fellow 2010

"The Hertz Fellowship was transformational. The technical depth it helped me pursue was crucial to earning credibility with the founders and inventors of GPS."
W. Neil McCasland, PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 1988

“I’m grateful to the Hertz Foundation for the support for my PhD—and for the collaborations with Hertz Fellows early on in my career.”
Valentin Spitkovsky
Stanford University    Hertz Fellow 2010

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."

~John Muir.

Jennifer Schloss
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow

"I literally would not have been able to finish graduate school without it."
J. Doyne Farmer
University of California, Santa Cruz    Hertz Fellow 1981

"The Hertz Foundation was Transformational! It literally changed my life... I canceled plans to spend a year in Germany and decided to go to graduate school at Berkeley, instead."
Christopher McKee
University of California, Berkeley    Hertz Fellow 1969

“I’ve always been fascinated by the medical applications of synthetic biology. I want to tackle problems relating to drug resistance in cancer – specifically, how the cell environment surrounding a tumor can influence how that tumor develops resistance to treatment. I want to understand all of these interactions, and then engineer better therapeutics.”
Katie Bodner
Stanford University    Hertz Fellow

“I discovered that unlike magic, the tricks of nature are even more miraculous when you know their secrets. My passion is understanding how our universe works at the most fundamental level. I am interested in leveraging insights about the interplay between quantum mechanics and time to enable experimentalists to explore new corners of the quantum world.”
Jordan Cotler
Stanford University    Hertz Fellow

“One real world application of my research is that the more equations we can get a handle on, the better we can understand the physical systems that govern our world – such as understanding heat flow in metals and phase changes in magnets.”
Cole Graham
Stanford University    Hertz Fellow

“An important part of my work is understanding how the variety of phenomena we see all around us comes from the steady operation of simple rules. The laws are simple and compact, which makes the complexity with which they unfold fascinating to me.”
Adam Jermyn
California Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 2016

“With the Hertz Fellowship, I’m immensely excited and grateful to not have to worry about funding for my research. It feels like a weight has been lifted. I’m motivated by the intellectual freedom this will provide for collaboration and exploration in my work to bring human spatial awareness and intuition into graphics.”
Ben Mildenhall
University of California, Berkeley    Hertz Fellow

“After internships at Blue Origin, NASA, and Boeing, I saw that the biggest limitations to what I could achieve had answers that could only be found with a thorough understanding of fundamental physics. The point of what we study is not to be ‘right’ per some absolute metric, but for our results to be useful.”
Sabrina Pasterski
Harvard University    Hertz Fellow

“The scientific community needs tools, and that’s a big part of what artificial intelligence can offer. I’m interested in building more efficient ways to gather and process information. One of the great things about the Hertz Fellowship is that it puts an emphasis on going out in the world and using science to do interesting things.”
Maxim Rabinovich
University of California, Berkeley    Hertz Fellow

“I want to bring chemical thinking into research models in physics so that we can better understand where on the periodic table to look for materials with desirable properties. This field can be very counterintuitive, and I find that interesting. I want to use my research to develop better tools and materials for society.”
Alex Siegenfeld
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow

“The long lasting and useful benefit of the Hertz Fellowship is the Hertz Community of Fellows. They are brilliant people doing exciting things and will be great scientists to know and work with in the future. A lot of the theoretical framework behind my research in nanotechnology and fluid dynamics bridges into chemistry, and it’s important to me to have a community to collaborate with.”
Charles Tschirhart
University of California, Santa Barbara    Hertz Fellow

“Scientific literacy is incredibly important in today’s society—it informs decisions ranging from everyday choices to issues of international importance. I think that scientists have a responsibility to communicate to the public not only about scientific findings, but also about scientific ways of thinking.”
Katherine Xue
University of Washington    Hertz Fellow

“The overarching question I want to explore is: what are the design rules for engineering communities of bacteria for useful purposes? The first real applications for this field are just beginning, and I’m deeply excited to have the freedom of the Hertz Fellowship to be creative and innovative in pushing it forward.”
Ravi Sheth
Columbia University    Hertz Fellow

“I find it fascinating that the world we perceive around us is constructed inside each of our heads. In my research, I want to map out how information flows through the nervous system from input to output. I’m excited because through the Hertz Foundation Community I can collaborate with peers across disciplines.”
Ben Shababo
University of California, Berkeley    Hertz Fellow

"The Hertz Fellowship was terrific. It gave me easy entry into the research group that I really wanted to be in and allowed me freedom to change my project as scientific thrusts changed. It was great!"
Nathan Lewis
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 1981

"My clout in college probably connected me to the people that co-founded Infoseek. Folks that knew me, knew what I did... but folks that didn't know me, understood what my Fellowship award meant."
James Roskind
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 1983

"The Hertz Fellowship allowed me the flexibility to choose an unconventional thesis topic (microchannel cooling) rather than being force-fit into an existing funded research program. The startup company that I co-founded was a direct off-shoot of interests that I developed during my Ph.D. research."
David B. Tuckerman
Stanford University    Hertz Fellow 1983

"Having a Hertz Fellowship helped me to learn to think independently and attack problems in unconventional ways."
Edward Ratner
Stanford University    Hertz Fellow 1995

"I had already begun my research before receiving the Hertz Fellowship, however the project was unfunded. Hertz allowed me to pursue the research I wanted to pursue."
Keith Dionne
Massachusetts Institute of Technology    Hertz Fellow 1990

"It allowed me to complete my degrees quickly without being a slave to my professor."
John Wakerly
Stanford University    Hertz Fellow 1973