Crosby Receives Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University senior Patrick Crosby has been selected to receive a 2005 Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship from the Australian-American Fulbright Commission. The award will provide Crosby support for up to 12 months of research and coursework at the University of Melbourne.

Crosby, from Abbeville, S.C., is double majoring in electrical and computer engineering and computer science, and is scheduled to graduate in May.

The Fulbright Exchange program was established in 1946 as an initiative of Sen. J. William Fulbright. The Australian-American Fulbright Commission provides up to 20 Fulbright Awards for U.S. citizens to visit Australia each year. About 14 awards are for postgraduates -- students who have already completed a four-year degree.

Crosby will spend a year continuing cochlear implant research he started as a Pratt Undergraduate Research Fellow at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering. He is working to improve music perception for wearers of cochlear implants under the guidance of associate professor Leslie Collins, who specializes in auditory prostheses.

Cochlear implants can restore partial hearing in some people with deafness by directly stimulating the auditory nerve, which can help them learn to interpret sounds and speech. But because music is such a complex sound, with more necessary spectral and tonal information being conveyed simultaneously, it doesn't translate well through many modern implants. Crosby is working to fine tune how sounds are processed by the device to better convey subtle spectral and tonal information.

"Patrick is an absolutely outstanding student -- he has strong theoretical and analytical skills along with excellent intuition. He will without a doubt be a credit to Pratt and Duke, as well as the Fulbright program," Collins said.

This will be Crosby's third opportunity to study abroad. He studied Spanish in Spain for a summer and spent the fall of his junior year in Costa Rica at the University of Veritas. Crosby is also a die-hard member of Duke's Ultimate Frisbee Club.

After graduating from Duke and spending his year in Australia, Crosby plans to work in industry conducting research for several years before pursuing a graduate degree in electrical and computer engineering.