Nicole Lam receives Towner Prize for Distinguished Academic Achievement

She was selected for the award based on her academic and research excellence.
Nicole Lam
Nicole Lam

CSE graduate student Nicole Lam has been selected to receive the University of Michigan Richard F. And Eleanor A. Towner Prize for Distinguished Academic Achievement. Awarded to just one individual in each degree program annually, the Towner Prize recognizes outstanding graduate students who have displayed excellence in research, leadership, and academic performance.

Nicole, who completed her bachelor’s degree in CS at U-M in 2022, is currently pursuing a master’s degree in CSE. Throughout her time at U-M, she has consistently demonstrated a high level of academic achievement. In addition to her coursework, she served as an instructional aide in EECS 390: Programming Paradigms, where she provided support to over 400 students through weekly office hours and discussion sessions. 

Coupled with her exceptional academic service is Nicole’s research experience. She has worked as a research assistant with Prof. Xinyu Wang, helping to run data scraping tasks for web robotic process automation, among other projects. Her work has resulted in two publications at top conferences, including PLDI 22 and UIST 2023. Internships at DoorDash and Optiver have allowed her to further develop and refine her software development and coding skills.

Nicole has also served in leadership roles in the broader U-M community. A passionate athlete, she helped launch and currently serves as team leader of the Michigan Wolves Chinese women’s basketball team, as well as managing the men’s team. Under her leadership, the men’s team has been able to compete in the Northeastern Chinese Basketball League, as well as U-M intramural tournaments.

Going forward, Nicole looks forward to finishing her master’s in CSE and continuing to foster her dual passions for computer science and sports. “My interest in ‘how things work’ has led me to a lifelong passion for computer science and engineering projects,” she said. “I have had an amazing experience at U-M and look forward to continuing my journey.”