Filipino-Japanese student graduates with highest honors at Georgia Tech in US

Published December 16, 2020, 1:35 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

A young Filipino-Japanese student graduated with highest honors, or summa cum laude, at the Georgia Institute of Technology (also known as Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Gen Mark Tanno at Georgia Tech (Photo from Tanno’s Facebook account)

Gen Mark Tanno, 22, whose mother is Filipino and father a Japanese businessman, finished his double major Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Aerospace Engineering at the university. 

Georgia Tech ranks No. 2 in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical, and No. 5 in Computer Science programs in the US based on the 2021 “Best Colleges” rankings of the US News & World Report.

Tanno graduated with the highest honors, awarded by the university to students who attain a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.55 to 4. He is one of the graduates of Georgia Tech’s Fall Commencement Ceremony held recently. 

“Finally graduated! I would not have experienced and gained all of these great things without the help and support from my amazing parents, Nanette Veloso Tanno and Yusuke Tanno. Thank you very much for allowing me to stay on the opposite side of the world. I can never repay for all the support that you guys have given me in the last 22 years of my life,” Tanno said in a post. 

Last year, Tanno, together with his teammates Charles Andrew Person and Alexandra Miner, won the Best Aerospace Engineering Project at the 2019 Capstone Design Expo held at Georgia Tech. 

They were awarded $1,000 for their project Surveillance Technology for Organized Relief Management (STORM), a drone designed to carry “emergency payloads to hazardous terrains during a natural disaster or combat scenario,” according to Georgia Tech’s Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering website. The team also won the Best 3D Printing, Manufacturing, and Autonomy prize at the 2019 Boeing AerosPACE Competition in Charleston, South Carolina. 

Tanno also participated in hackathons, where people come together to solve problems or work on a project, at various US universities including Harvard University and Johns Hopkins.  

Before going to Georgia Tech in 2016, Tanno studied elementary, high school, and International Baccalaureate at Southville International School and Colleges in the Philippines. He also represented the Philippines and won medals in various international math competitions. 

Tanno received the award as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Mathematicians (TOYM) in the National Capital Region in 2015.