2023 Award Winners

Award Information

In keeping with the interdisciplinary spirit of this campus-wide event, PRD judges evaluated presentations primarily on how effectively they communicate their research to a non-specialist audience. For more information on the evaluation criteria, see the Awards page.

Watch the PRD23 Awards Ceremony

Outstanding Presentation Awards

Awarded to presentations that receive the highest scores among all video submissions. Awardees were featured during the live Awards Celebration and had the opportunity to discuss their research with a moderator. Five awards were made, valued at $1,500 each.

Cole Meyer, Class of 2024
Astrophysical Sciences
Advisers: David McComas and Riddhi Bandyopadhyay
Title: Estimates of heating rates in the near-Sun environment

Catherine Keim, Class of 2023
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Adviser: Corina Tarnita
Spot the Difference: Using Camera Traps and Coat Patterns to Identify Individual African Civets (Civettictis civetta) and Analyze Image ID Algorithm Accuracy

Lauren Okamoto, Class of 2024
Computer Science
Adviser: Xiaoyan Li
Do Judges Score Dives Fairly? Analyzing the Contribution of Different Phases to Scoring in Diving

Nate Simon, Graduate Student
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Advisers: Anirudha Majumdar and Marcus Hultmark
Improving Drone Performance in Wind with Novel, Fast, Sensors


Vinay Konuru, Class of 2024
Kelvin Green, Class of 2024
Sustainable Energy
Advisers: Kelsey Hatzell and Jason Ren
Building Negative Emissions Technology for a Green Economy

Orange & Black Awards

Awarded to presentations that receive the highest scores in the combined video + Showcase presentation category among all submissions. Presenters must participate in the live Showcase. Awardees' presentation are featured on the PRD website and the presenter names will be announced during the live event. Five awards will be made, valued at $1,500 each.

Sophia Richter, Class of 2023
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Adviser: Andy Dobson
Title: Effects of Grazing on Yellowstone Plant Communities

Cecilia H. Kim, Class of 2023
Global Health & Health Policy
Adviser: Smita Gopinath
Examining the role of the vaginal microbiome in preterm birth to improve interventions for women’s health

Isaac Breinyn, Graduate Student
Adviser: Daniel Cohen
Regulating swelling in lab-grown kidneys using electricity

Bryan Boyd, Class of 2024
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Adviser: Branko Glisic
RF Sensor Systems for Resilient Smart Infrastructure

Fatima Sarfraz, Class of 2026
Ja'nae Gordon, Class of 2026
Dania Khalid, Class of 2026
Parth Rana, Class of 2026
Sanjana Venkatesh, Class of 2026
Brian Park, Class of 2026
Maia Weatherly, Class of 2025
Meryl Liu, Class of 2025
Molecular Biology
Advisers: Jared Toettcher and Beatrice Ramm
Interkingdom Communication

FitzRandolph Gate Award

A symbol of the University's openness to the worldwide community, the FitzRandolph Gate Award represents the presentation that is considered the “fan favorite” by the Princeton community. Two awards valued at $1,000 each were given for the video presentation and Showcase presentation with the most votes received. 

Fan Favorite - Video presentation

Ipsita Dey, Graduate Student
Advisers: Jerry Zee and Agustin Fuentes
A Tale of Two Snakes: Degei and Kaliya


Fan Favorite - Showcase presentation

Coley Rose Martin, Class of 2023
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Adviser: Reed Maxwell
On Sunken Land: The Environmental and Social Impacts of the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam in Brazil

Sponsored Awards

Sponsored awards focus on a theme or concept area and are supported by a campus unit.

Campus Impact Award

Sponsored by Campus Life 

Recognizes one presentation by an undergraduate student, graduate student or post-doctoral researcher whose research positively impacts the Princeton University campus community in some way. In particular, research that has a demonstrable, meaningful and potentially lasting impact on some or all campus populations can be considered for this award. This could mean positively impacting the life of other students; illuminating something important about campus or certain campus populations that may lead to action; responding to an important campus need; and/or research that connects or impacts University community members across roles.

Award value: $1,500

Sam Kagan, Class of 2024
Elaine Huang, Class of 2025
Annie Rupertus, Class of 2025
Charlie Roth, Class of 2025
The Frosh Survey


Innovation and Entrepreneurial Mindset Awards

Sponsored by the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council

One award will be given to an undergraduate research presentation, and another award will be given to a graduate student, postdoc or early career researcher presentation.

This award recognizes the impact that Princeton research and scholarship can have on the greater world. Impact can take many different forms (social impact, technical impact, community impact) and can be on large or small communities. The judges will evaluate the research on the clarity of the proposition value presented, and the proposition value is defined by the benefit that a customer or user group will receive from the idea proposed.

Award value: $1,000

Timothy W. Schwanitz, Graduate Student
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Adviser: Lindy McBride
Mapping Human Preference in the Mosquito Brain

Elizabeth Petrov, Class of 2023
Computer Science
Adviser: Andres Monroy-Hernandez
Dream Garden: Exploring Location-Based, Collaboratively-Created Augmented Reality Spaces


Graduate Student Impact Award

Sponsored by the Graduate School

Recognizes one presentation by a graduate student whose presentation clearly communicates the potential positive impact their research has on enriching or improving our culture, community or society. The emphasis on clearly communicating the “potential” impact of one’s research to a general audience indicates that presentations will be evaluated on effective communication skills, not the merit of finished outcome.

Award value: $1,500

COVID Response Recognition Award

Sponsored by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety

This year we have a special one-time award to unveil. This award recognizes a vital research contribution to the safety of the campus community during the COVID pandemic. 

This research was conducted by a graduate student to assist with the mitigation of the number of COVID infections on campus. The student’s modeling results were used to inform COVID-19 policies on campus, including asymptomatic testing and isolation guidelines. His work directly impacted campus policy and campus safety and the whole campus benefited from this person’s work behind the scenes.

Sang Woo Park, Graduate Student
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Adviser: Bryan Grenfell
Using mathematical models to inform Princeton’s COVID-19 testing guidelines


Princeton University Library (PUL) Awards

Sponsored by the Princeton University Library

Recognizes one presentation by an undergraduate student and another by a graduate student or postdoc who has clearly articulated thoughtful or innovative use of Library resources and services.

These awards would recognize research projects that make innovative use of library resources and services. For example, a project might use Special Collections materials, online exhibits, digitization services, support for research data management, GIS and maps, or statistical software support. A project might actively include partnership with a librarian, a subject specialist or a curator. A project might build on the Library’s commitment to surface hidden collections through curation, digitization, online exhibits and visualizations.

Award value: $750

Dennis Schaefer, Graduate Student
Adviser: Joel Lande
Sold under Nazi rule: On the Provenance of a Manuscript in Princeton’s Goethe Collection

Grace Liu, Class of 2023
Geosciences, Computer Science and Interdisciplinary Humanities
Advisers: Gabriel A. Vecchi, Nadir Jeevanjee, and Sirisha Kalidindi
Exploring the Decline of Ice Skating on Lake Carnegie through Digital Newspaper Archives