Sleepy Hollow Teen Receives National Scholarship for Development of New Machine Learning Techniques

Owen Dugan

Owen Dugan awarded $10,000 as a 2021 Davidson Fellow Scholarship Winner

The Davidson Fellows Scholarship Program has announced the 2021 scholarship winners. Among the honorees is 18-year-old Owen Dugan of Sleepy Hollow. Only twenty students across the country are recognized as scholarship winners each year.

“I am honored to be a Davidson Fellow, to have my work nationally recognized, and to join the Davidson Fellows’ community,” said Dugan.

For his project, Dugan developed several new techniques to improve and expand the scope of OccamNet, a new interpretable neural network architecture, with the goal of increasing adoption of interpretable and reliable machine learning techniques.

“The 2021 Davidson Fellows Scholarship recipients have risen to the challenges of a global pandemic to complete significant projects within their fields of study,” said Bob Davidson, founder of the Davidson Institute. “To be awarded this recognition, these students have shown immense skill and work ethic, and they should be commended as they continue their educational and research journeys while continuing to work to solve some of the world’s most vexing problems.”

The 2021 Davidson Fellows were honored during a virtual ceremony in September 2021. The ceremony can be viewed online at

The Davidson Fellows Scholarship program offers $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000 college scholarships to students 18 or younger, who have completed significant projects that have the potential to benefit society in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature, and music. The Davidson Fellows Scholarship has provided more than $8.6 million in scholarship funds to 386 students since its inception in 2001, and has been named one of the most prestigious undergraduate scholarships by U.S. News & World Report. It is a program of the Davidson Institute, a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Reno, Nev. that supports profoundly gifted youth.


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