WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Princeton University released a statement confirming its first black valedictorian after 274 years.
- A computer and science whiz, 22-year-old Nicholas Johnson comes from Canada and developed algorithms for health initiatives for his thesis and he plans to go to MIT to attend a Ph.D. program.
- Johnson will participate in Princeton’s virtual commencement on May 31 while the belated in-person ceremony for the Class of 2020 will happen next spring, in May 2021.
Princeton University has its first black valedictorian in school history- a computer and science whiz hailing from Canada. The Ivy League school’s statement says that 22-year-old Nicholas Johnson received the formal announcement in April.
ABC News reported that on a university podcast, Johnson described his achievement as “very empowering” and hopes that it serves as inspiration and motivation for other black students.
He worked at Google’s headquarters in California as a software engineer for machine learning before he entered his senior year. In addition to that, he studied machine clearing at Oxford University as an intern.
At the Ivy League school, Johnson said that his fondest memories were having the opportunity to travel around the globe on international internships. This included going to countries like Hong Kong, Peru, and the United Kingdom. Being able to build relationships with his fellow students really made its mark on him.
“My favorite memories of my time at Princeton are memories of time spent with close friends and classmates engaging in stimulating discussions — often late at night — about our beliefs, the cultures and environments in which we were raised, the state of the world, and how we plan on contributing positively to it in our own unique way.”
The school’s statement said that for his thesis at Princeton, he developed algorithms to assist health initiatives that aimed to curtail obesity in Canada. It also added that the work could be applied to other public health policies in Canada regarding social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Johnson plans to further his education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology to attend a Ph.D. program.
Source: New York Post