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LSU Nominates Four Students for 2020 Goldwater Scholarship

Nominees will be considered for national undergraduate STEM award

LSU has nominated four students for the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship, widely considered the most prestigious undergraduate award available to STEM sophomores and juniors. Rohin Gilman, Henry Kantrow, Brianna Robertson, and Noah Smith will compete with students from universities across the country to be named a 2020 Goldwater Scholar.

Goldwater Scholars are awarded one and two-year $7,500 stipends to pursue undergraduate research in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. To apply for the scholarship, students must demonstrate extensive research experience and submit a research essay that demonstrates their interest and ability in their fields. Four students are selected annually for nomination through an internal competition at LSU.

Rohin Gilman, of Baton Rouge, LA, is an Ogden Honors College sophomore studying mathematics with a minor in computer science in the College of Science. His research stems from his interest in numerical methods. He has conducted research that demonstrates how the Chernoff Product Formula can be used to approximate solutions of initial value problems for fully non-linear differential equations, using Koopman’s global linearization approach. Gilman conducts his research under Dr. Frank Neubrander. When asked about his experience, Gilman says, “The Honors College allowed me to connect with Dr. Frank Neubrander in the mathematics department, and my research with him has truly enhanced my experience at LSU. It has allowed me to meet people from many universities interested in the same areas as I am and has given me the opportunity to present and share what I am passionate about to others.” After graduation, Gilman plans to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics and conduct research while teaching at the university level.

Henry Kantrow, of Baton Rouge, LA, is an Ogden Honors College junior studying chemical engineering in the College of Engineering. Kantrow’s research involves the design of motor and vacuum equipment that allows near monodispersity of previously polydisperse polystyrene nanosphere arrays by using hole-mask colloidal nanolithography, resulting in a low-cost method for nearly monodisperse, sub-wavelength hole arrays. He is currently working on exploring methods for fabricating ultrasmooth 2D Ag films for plasmonic applications, particularly in smart windows. Kantrow is conducting this research under Dr. Kevin McPeak, in the Cain Department of Chemical Engineering.

“My research experience at LSU started early my freshman year through the mentorship of Dr. Kevin McPeak in the Chemical Engineering Department,” Kantrow explains. “I have since worked on projects in the field of photonics with applications ranging from water sanitation to smart window technology. This experience has taught me to love the challenge of research, leading me to pursue a Ph.D. in ChE after graduation.” After graduation, Kantrow plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and conduct research with sustainability applications at a university or government agency. 

Brianna Robertson, of Slidell, LA, is an Ogden Honors College junior studying physics in the College of Science and computer engineering in the LSU College of Engineering. In her research essay, Robertson seeks to develop an end-to-end automated system using neural networks for the physical layer of telecommunications in software-defined radios, which will lead to better in-space communication. She has also presented research on the development of a temperature stabilization module for a portable fluorescent sensing platform that her lab already developed, under Dr. Jin-Woo Choi.

“Being at the forefront of new and exciting technology is one benefit of research; however, I would argue that being surrounded by like-minded individuals is the greater benefit,” Robertson remarks. “There’s a tacit closeness between lab members, forged by weird hours, academic paper presentations, and, most importantly, the adoration of the coffee pot.” After graduation, Robertson plans to pursue a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and perform industry-level research and development in space-related fields.

Noah Smith, of Birmingham, AL, is an Ogden Honors College junior studying chemical engineering in the LSU College of Engineering. Smith’s research essay focuses on the development of a flow-free gradient generator using a (TAMR/H) hybrid system. The purpose of his research is to develop new polymeric materials to produce a 2-layer flow-free gradient generator capable of bonding to maintain fluid-tight channels, providing a cheaper and simpler alternative to traditional devices using PDMS and agarose. This research was conducted under Dr. Adam Thomas Melvin and is currently under review for publication. “My experience has fulfilled me to the point that I now hope to make a career of research,” Smith says. “I look forward to what the future may bring.”

After graduation, Smith plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, teach at the university level, conduct research across multiple STEM fields, and mentor students to be successful researchers.

Dr. Drew Lamonica Arms, Director of Fellowship Advising, noted that this year’s nominees are recipients of LSU’s top academic undergraduate scholarships, the Stamps Scholarship and President’s Alumni Scholarship. “Our Goldwater nominees represent the kind of high-achieving students we can bring to LSU, providing them with the research opportunities to compete at the national level. Rohin, Henry, Bri, and Noah have taken advantage of unique research experiences on campus, in industry, and at international REUs. We wish them all the best in the 2020 Goldwater Scholarship competition.” Goldwater recipients will be announced on March 27, 2020.


The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation

 Congress established the Barry Goldwater Scholarship in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate. The scholarship was designed to alleviate a critical, current and future shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers. 

Ogden Honors College Office of Fellowship Advising

The Ogden Honors College Office of Fellowship Advising advises current students and recent graduates from all colleges at LSU as they apply for prestigious national and international fellowships. Students interested in applying for the Goldwater Scholarship may contact Drew Lamonica Arms, director of the Office of Fellowship Advising, at

LSU College of Science

 The LSU College of Science is an international leader in scientific research and instruction, elevating LSU to the highest level of excellence among major research universities in the U.S. and abroad. The college consists of five academic departments including biological sciences, chemistry, geology & geophysics, mathematics, and physics & astronomy, and the LSU Museum of Natural Science. Seven major fields of study and more than 20 concentrations are available to LSU students interested in pursuing a science major at LSU. College of Science students make up nearly half of LSU’s top graduates. For more information on LSU’s College of Science, visit

LSU College of Engineering

Founded in 1908, the LSU College of Engineering offers 11 undergraduate degree programs and confers approximately 650 bachelor’s degrees per year, ranking it in the top 10 percent nationally for graduates. Faculty members engage in education, research, and commercialization with a strategic focus on research indigenous to Louisiana: energy, manufacturing, natural & built infrastructure, computation and biotechnology. For more information about LSU's College of Engineering visit