Yun William Yu, Indiana University alumus, named 2012 Hertz Fellow

April 4, 2012
Hertz Staff

For the first time, IU is the alma mater of a Hertz Fellow.

Alumnus Yun William Yu has been named a 2012 Hertz Fellow. As such, Yu will receive support for his graduate education in the area of applied mathematics, valued at more than $250,000.

He is one of only 15 recipients of the fellowship, picked from a field of more than 600.

Yu, a Wells and Goldwater scholar, graduated in 2009 with degrees in chemistry, mathematics and Germanic studies.

Post-graduation, Yu studied at Imperial College London and completed a Master of Research in biomedical physical chemistry.

To secure the fellowship, each applicant submitted a comprehensive written application and four references and underwent two rounds of interviewing.

Applicants were selected based on their abilities to use their intellect and inventiveness to bring about a meaningful improvement to society, particularly through scientific and engineering strengths, according to the Hertz Foundation website.

At IU, Yu served on the Board of Aeons, an advisory board to the Office of the President.

“I first came to know William through his work with IU’s Board of Aeons and found him to be an exceptionally talented young man,” IU President Michael McRobbie said in a press release. “William’s outstanding skills in the sciences, which earned him top awards in chemistry and math while at IU, are complemented by his love for the arts and humanities, particularly music and language.”

Yu was also a member of the IU Swing Dance Club, sang in an a capella group and worked on the literary magazine Labyrinth.

With his fellowship, which also includes up to five years of support, Yu plans to pursue a doctoral degree in applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I’m quite excited, because having an external fellowship allows me to pursue more risky avenues of research,” Yu said in a press release. “This allows me to take on projects my advisors might not be able to fund or to initiate interdisciplinary collaborations. It gives me the freedom to be creative and ambitious.”


By Matthew Glowicki