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Date: July 1, 1997
Contact: Justin Harmon 609/258-5732

Princeton Names Francis Upton Fellow

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Limin Wang, a 1997 graduate of Peking University, China, has received a Francis Upton Fellowship for graduate study in engineering at Princeton University's School of Engineering and Applied Science, where he will study computer science.

"Appointment as an Upton Fellow is one of the highest honors that our School can bestow on an incoming graduate student," said James Wei, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton. "They are chosen based on their outstanding achievements as undergraduates and their potential for success at Princeton and beyond."

The 1997 Upton Fellows represent the fields of chemical engineering, civil engineering and operations research, computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical and aerospace engineering. At Princeton, the fellows may choose to study in one of those fields, or they may consider an interdisciplinary program within one of the Centers that unite the School of Engineering and Applied Science with the rest of the University. These interdisciplinary centers include the Advanced Technology Center for Photonics and Optoelectronic Materials, the Princeton Materials Institute, the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, and the Princeton Environmental Institute.

The Upton Fellowships are made possible by an extraordinarily generous gift from The Lucy and Eleanor S. Upton Charitable Foundation and matched by alumnus Gordon Y. S. Wu, Class of 1958. Upton Fellows are awarded four years of full financial support, including full tuition and a premium stipend. In addition, the award provides funds that can be used by the student to cover research and travel expenses.

The Upton Fellowships are named in memory of Francis Robbins Upton, the very first student to officially earn, by examination, a graduate degree from Princeton. He received a Masters of Science in 1877. Mr. Upton was a longtime associate of Thomas Edison. Since Edison was an intuitive genius with no formal education, he relied heavily upon Upton to interpret his revolutionary insights and translate them into mathematical equations.

When the light bulb was perfected in 1879, Upton's own house in Menlo Park, N.J., became the first private dwelling in the world to feature electric lights; the first electrically lighted classroom was that of Upton's great Princeton mentor, Cyrus Fogg Brackett. In 1889, Professor Brackett, the Joseph Henry Professor of Physics, founded at Princeton the first school of electrical engineering in the United States.