Two University of Florida undergraduates earn prestigious research scholarship

The Goldwater Foundation announced that University of Florida students Keshav Motwani and Estelle in ‘t Zandt have been selected for the 2020 Goldwater Scholarship. Motwani and in ‘t Zandt are two of just 396 students selected nationwide for the prestigious undergraduate research scholarship. They both are in the University of Florida Honors Program. 

Motwani, a statistics major, researches how computational immunology and machine learning can be used to analyze and interpret the complexity of immune-related diseases. He works with professor Todd Brusko to study disease status and response to therapeutic interventions. Motwani plans to get his Ph.D. in machine learning and lead a collaborative research group that focuses on applications of machine learning.

in ‘t Zandt is a microbiology and cell science major with an additional major in psychology. She researches neural processing of sensory information, with recent publications and projects focused on the processing of smells. She works in Daniel Wesson’s lab which specializes in this research. in ‘t Zandt aspires to attain a Ph.D. in neuroscience to further investigate the neurobiology of the brain’s behavioral functions. 

“This recognition for these students acknowledges their hard work, excellent academic record, and research accomplishments to date,” said Mark Law, director of the University Honors Program. “It’s an honor to have students like Estelle and Keshav on our campus.” 

The Goldwater Scholarship is the most prestigious undergraduate award in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering. It is awarded to students who demonstrate outstanding work in these areas and encourages them to continue their career paths.

Past Goldwater Scholars include other members of the UF Honors Program, Hannah Lyons (2019, microbiology and cell sciences, history), William Owens (2019 microbiology, computer science), Aaron Sandoval (2018, biology), Mihael Cudic (2017, electrical engineering), Tiffany Paul (2016, physics) and Colin Defant (2015, mathematics). For students interested in a Goldwater Scholarship, please contact Kelly J. Medley at

Kaylie Heyner April 10, 2020