Two Indian Americans bag Gates Cambridge Scholarship

The programme offers full-cost postgraduate scholarships to applicants from countries outside of the UK

Ishan Kalburge / Image: LinkedIn and Sadhana Lolla / MIT

Sadhana Lolla and Ishan Kalburge have been awarded the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which offers students an opportunity to pursue graduate study in the field of their choice at Cambridge University in the UK. 

Established in 2000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the programme offers full-cost postgraduate scholarships to outstanding applicants from countries outside of the UK. It aims to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.

Lolla, majoring in computer science and minoring in mathematics and literature at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), will pursue MPhil in technology policy at Cambridge.

In the future, she aims to lead conversations on deploying and developing technology for marginalized communities, such as the rural Indian village, while also conducting research in embodied intelligence, according to a statement.

Lolla recalled her childhood days in a village where she witnessed her grandmother labor without assistive technology which motivated her to pursue artificial intelligence solutions that bring robotic assistive technology to underprivileged communities.

“By pursuing the MPhil in technology policy, I hope to bring regulators, researchers, and the technology industry together to design policy solutions that promote bias-free, robust, and trustworthy artificial intelligence while spurring innovation,” Lolla commented.

Expressing her excitement at being awarded the scholarship, she added, “I also hope to uplift the voices of vulnerable communities in conversations about technological development and deployment. I’m thrilled to join the Gates Cambridge community and work together with such a diverse and talented group of peers to improve the lives of others.”

With a motive to help people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Kalburge will pursue a PhD in engineering with Máté Lengyel, professor in Cambridge’s computational and biological learning lab, using probabilistic deep learning to investigate how humans form internal representations of uncertainty during decision-making.

Calling the scholarship programme a platform to engage with global leaders, he stated, “There is no greater privilege than to study at Cambridge with full support from the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which will give me access to a vibrant and diverse community of global leaders that can enrich my scholarship, leadership, and personal life.”

Throughout his undergraduate career, Kalburge served on the board of the Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering Society, most recently as its president.