Four Penn students are 2023 Goldwater Scholars

Goldwater Scholarships are awarded to students planning research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.

Four students who are winners of 2023 Goldwater Prize
Penn’s newest Goldwater Scholars are (clockwise from top left) third-years Andreas Ghosh, Zijian (William) Niu, Angela Song, and Jason Wang. (Images: Courtesy of Ghosh, Niu, Song, and Wang)

Four University of Pennsylvania undergraduates have received 2023 Goldwater Scholarships, awarded to second- or third-year students planning research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.

Penn’s 2023 Goldwater Scholars are third-years Andreas Ghosh, from New York City; Zijian (William) Niu, from Winchester, Massachusetts; Angela Song, from Princeton Junction, New Jersey; and Jason Wang, from Lexington, Kentucky.

They are among the 413 students named 2023 Goldwater Scholars from more than 5,000 students nominated by 427 academic institutions in the United States, according to the Barry Goldwater Scholarship & Excellence in Education Foundation. Each scholarship provides as much as $7,500 each year for as many as two years of undergraduate study.

Penn has produced 59 Goldwater Scholars since Congress established the scholarship in 1986 to honor U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater. 

Andreas Ghosh, from New York City, is majoring in physics and chemical engineering in the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research, a dual-degree program in the School of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Ghosh’s interests include quantum chemistry and renewable energy. He conducts computational chemistry research on new photovoltaic effects with Andrew Rappe, professor of chemistry and materials science and engineering. He also works at Penn’s Weingarten Center as a calculus and physics tutor. Currently taking voice lessons in classical singing, he is a member of the Penn Chorale. After graduating, Ghosh intends to pursue a doctorate in chemistry, with a goal of becoming a professor of chemistry who leads a research group and studies renewable energy.

Zijian (William) Niu, from Winchester, Massachusetts, is a third-year majoring in biochemistry, biophysics, and physics in the College of Arts and Sciences. As a recipient of the Roy and Diana Vagelos Science Challenge Award, he works in the Raj Lab for Systems Biology with Arjun Raj, professor of bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. His current research focuses on the development of new computational methods in biomedical image analysis using deep learning for tasks such as cell segmentation and small subcellular object detection. He has also worked with Sydney Shaffer, assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, on investigating the molecular origins of Barrett’s esophagus and its progression toward esophageal adenocarcinoma. At Penn, Niu is an organic chemistry workshop leader, a vice president of the Penn Undergraduate Chemistry Society, and an event supervisor for Science Olympiad at Penn. Recently, he co-founded Project Lucid, an initiative to promote adaptive science communication among Penn undergraduates. After graduating, he intends to pursue a Ph.D. in computational biology to continue optimizing and developing new methods for biomedical image analysis.

Angela Song, from Princeton Junction, New Jersey, is a third-year majoring in bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. She is interested in engineering molecular therapeutics for disease. She works in Douglas C. Wallace’s lab in the Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, focusing on designing engineered proteins with mitochondrial applications. At Penn, Song is the vice president of design for UnEarthed, a student-published educational magazine for West Philadelphia elementary school children, and president of the Penn American Red Cross Club. After graduating, Song plans to continue pursuing research through a Ph.D. in bioengineering.

Jason Wang, from Lexington, Kentucky, is a third-year majoring in biophysics in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is interested in computational research methods, especially for modeling and developing clinical treatments. He is actively engaged in research with the Baumgart Group in the Chemistry Department where he analyzes the physical properties of lipid bilayers. Wang volunteers at Penn Medicine’s Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Also at Penn, he is a resident advisor at the Gregory College House, a member of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, and a tutor with Penn for Refugee Empowerment. After graduating, Wang plans to pursue an M.D.-Ph.D. in membrane biophysics.  

The students applied for the Goldwater Scholarship with assistance from Penn’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.