Physics major earns prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

UMass Boston junior Sarah True has received the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. This is the third year in a row that UMass Boston students have been named Goldwater Scholars; four students have received the honor.

The Goldwater Scholarship is given annually to college sophomores and juniors who demonstrate excellence in natural science, engineering, and mathematics. This year it was awarded to 410 students across the country out of 1,256 nominations.

“I congratulate Sarah True on receiving this highly prestigious scholarship and national recognition,” said UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco. “I am proud to see our students achieve at the highest level, and am grateful for our faculty who guide them toward success.”

True, of Newburyport, is a physics major with a computer science minor. She plans to continue her studies after graduation to pursue a PhD in computational physics, with a goal of conducting “research in quantum physics and expanding upon the ways that computer science can be used to advance our understanding of how nature behaves at the quantum level.”

“It is truly an honor to be recognized alongside such incredible candidates,” True said. “I cannot express enough how grateful I am for the support of UMass Boston faculty and the invaluable research opportunities I have had access to as an undergraduate. I have had the pleasure of spending the last year conducting research on entanglement complexity in Professor Alioscia Hamma’s quantum information lab, and have also been collaborating with Professor Rahul Kulkarni’s research group since last semester. These experiences have allowed me to get started on my career goals ahead of receiving my degree, and I look forward to continuing this work in the years to come.”

True is the second student member of the AH Quantum Lab at UMB to receive a Goldwater Scholarship. The other, Joseph Farah, was one of two UMass Boston students recognized in 2019 with Goldwater Scholarships—the first UMass Boston students ever to receive the highly regarded prize.

"Sarah is working at the cutting edge of quantum physics. Her research concerns the transitions in entanglement complexity. I am very excited about her results. Stay tuned as you will hear more about her research in the near future," Associate Professor of Physics Alioscia Hamma said.

The 2020-21 Goldwater Scholars include 51 mathematics and computer science majors, 291 natural sciences majors, and 59 engineering majors.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.