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Douglas Receives Carver Fellowship

2/28/2012 12:36:00 PM

PhD student Frederick Douglas has received a prestigious Roy J. Carter Fellowship in Engineering. A highly competitive honor, Carver Fellowships are awarded to select students who are viewed as exemplary scholars and researchers in academia and industry and as representatives of the legacy of Roy J. Carver, a distinguished University of Illinois alumnus.

Carver Fellowships provide students with freedom to explore new and novel research areas, which was critical to Douglas. He came to Illinois from Case Western Reserve University after earning dual degrees in mathematics and computer science. A 2010 research internship with Manoj Prabhakaran in the Information Trust Institute at Illinois led him to think more about theoretical cryptography, and that led him back to Illinois when it came time to choose a university to prepare for a career in academia and research.
Since coming to Illinois, Douglas has worked with Prabhakaran on secure multi-party computation, a topic in theoretical cryptography. He also is working with Matthew Caesar on a project to develop a routing protocol that does not leak information about the network.

“The Department of Computer Science at Illinois is one of the world’s very best, and I’m thrilled to be here,” Douglas said. “Without the Carver Fellowship, I wouldn’t have felt like I had the time to enter into the project with Professor Caesar. The fellowship helped encourage me to try to work with him, since I felt that exploration of research topics was something I should do to be in keeping with the spirit of the award.”

Increasingly, his research interests encompass privacy issues related to Internet use, and include developing systems that provide individuals with greater privacy. He is motivated in part by recent events that have revealed how governments around the world are using the Internet activities of individuals to take action against those individuals.

“In short, the impact of this research is privacy and the damaging effects it can have on repressive governments,” said Douglas.

About the Roy J. Carver Fellowships
The Roy J. Carver Fellowships in Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were established in 1999 by a gift from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust in memory of Roy J. Carver, Sr., a 1934 graduate of the University. The first class of Carver Fellows was named in the fall of 2000.

Carver was an engineer, industrialist, and philanthropist whose foresight, enterprising spirit, and judgment exemplify how engineering skill can be combined with business acumen to advance technology. He earned a bachelor’s degree in general engineering in 1934 from the University of Illinois. In the late 1930s, he formed the Carver Pump Company to produce a self-priming pump that he designed, and he made the company a successful business enterprise despite the economic challenges of the Great Depression. In 1942, he established Carver Foundry Products, and he later founded Bandag, Inc., which became the world standard of quality in retreaded tires and equipment for the transportation industry.