Gitansh Khirbat is a University of Melbourne PhD student and chair of the IEEE Student branch at the same university. Gitansh is a nascent researcher in the vast ocean of Computer Science, highly fascinated by the phase shift brought by Machine Learning and Big Data. He likes to explore new technologies and is generally quite interested in anything associated with mathematics.

Gitansh was recently awarded the Richard E. Merwin Scholarship from the IEEE Computer Society.

The Richard E. Merwin scholarship was created in honor of the late Richard E. Merwin, past president of the IEEE Computer Society, to recognize and reward student leadership. The selected winners of this award have the opportunity to serve as IEEE Computer Society Student Ambassadors for the particular IEEE region to which they belong. Duties as Student Ambassadors include collecting and disseminating information to student branches or chapters in their region and serving as a liaison between the IEEE Computer Society Member and Geographic Activities Board (MGAB) and student members in their region.

We asked Gitansh why he believes he was awarded the prestigious scholarship. 

I am actively involved with IEEE student branch at the University of Melbourne for the past 2 years. IEEE gave me an opportunity to develop my leadership skills which include being the Chair of the student branch at The University of Melbourne, IEEE Day Ambassador and IEEEmadC Ambassador. Along with my team at the student branch, I was able to form strong collaboration with both Academia (like Universities across Australia and R10) and Industry (like Google, IBM Research, Telstra) to organise successful seminars and workshops. Additionally, my PhD research at the University of Melbourne in the field of Information Extraction using Machine Learning gives me the motivation to work closely with the IEEE Computer Society. Simultaneously, I had been quite active in participating in many extracurricular activities and held important leadership roles in the past like being the Google Student Ambassador for the University of Melbourne. All these factors contributed for a successful application.