NCWIT Collegiate Award Recipients

2017 NCWIT Collegiate Award Recipients

  • Pooja Chandrashekar, Harvard University, “Towards the Rapid Diagnosis of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in a Clinical Setting”
    This project focuses on more accurate, rapid, and inexpensive diagnostic testing for a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), also known as a concussion, which is prevalent among athletes and military personnel. Clinical trials are in progress at the National Rehabilitation Hospital. (View the project online.)

  • Valerie Chen, Yale University, “A Novel Combinatorial Method with Data Mining to Detect Critical Errors in Embedded Software Systems”
    This project detects critical errors in embedded software, which can be found in everyday technology used for vehicles and more. The Combined Covering Array Testing (CCAT) method maximizes the amount of system behavior covered and the number of errors found, while minimizing the test size. (View the project online.)

  • Anvita Gupta, Stanford University, “Deep MotifGAN for Personalized Medicine”
    MotifGAN uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate new DNA that binds correctly to proteins. Sequences generated from MotifGAN can be used for personalized treatments for diseases like colorectal cancer. (View the project online.)

  • Divya Mahajan, Georgia Institute of Technology, “TABLA: A Unified Template-based Framework for Accelerating Statistical Machine Learning”
    TABLA is a framework that generates accelerators for a class of machine learning algorithms, offering an energy efficient solution for analyzing the vast amounts of data generated by a wide range of commercial and enterprise applications, such as social networking and financial analysis. (View the project online.)

  • Manisha Mohan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), “Wearable Technologies to Detect and Deter Sexual Abuse”
    This project investigates loopholes in technological solutions for preventing sexual abuse and proposes solutions for ignored populations and scenarios. For example, many current systems expect the victim to press the panic button, which assumes the victim is conscious or able-bodied. (View the project online.)

Honorable mentions include:

  • Danielle Bragg, University of Washington - Seattle, “Smartfonts: Improving Legibility through Letterform Redesign”

  • Sharon Chen, Columbia University, “Wordcradle”

  • Kelsey D'Souza, Columbia University, “Ebohub: Infectious Disease Surveillance and Containment”

  • Alankrita Dayal, University of California - Berkeley, “Robodycare, Mind-Controlled Massager: An Integrated Biofeedback System”

  • Asmaa Elbadrawy, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, “Domain-aware Grade Prediction and Top-n Course Recommendation”

  • Emily Greene, Dartmouth College, “Secure Sharing of Wearable Healthcare Data”

  • Rachel Harsley, University of Illinois - Chicago, “Empowering People to Control Their Digital Trail”

  • Rae Lasko, Carnegie Mellon University, “The Implications of Temporal Association Rules in the Design of Intelligent Tutoring Systems”

  • Yamini Nambiar, Georgia Institute of Technology, “Spatio-temporal Spectral Variability in Cassiopeia A”

  • Vinitha Ranganeni, Carnegie Mellon University, “User Interface for Collecting Workspace Trajectories”

  • Stacey Truex, Georgia Institute of Technology, “Fast, Privacy Preserving Linear Regression Over Distributed Datasets, Based on Pre-Distributed Data”

  • Maya Varma, Stanford University, “Autonomous Smartphone-Controlled Robotic Wheelchair with Bluetooth Beacon-Assisted Navigation and RGB-D Vision”

2016 NCWIT Collegiate Award Recipients

  • Joy Buolamwini, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), "Bloomertech Smart Bra Mobile Application"
    This mobile application project allows women to visualize and monitor their heart health across a range of physical activities, giving them the insight and information to detect early warning signs of cardiovascular problems. (View the project online.)
  • Jasmine Collins, University of Pittsburgh, "Protein-Ligand Scoring Meets Machine Learning"
    This project can provide a more efficient, cost-effective method for pharmaceutical drug discovery by providing predictions of protein-ligand interaction potency, which can lead to finding new therapeutics for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. (View the project online.)
  • Xyla Foxlin, Case Western Reserve University, "Parihug"
    This pairable teddy bear lets individuals "hug" each other from anywhere in the world and allows children to continue learning how to develop relationships with their primary caregiver, even when that caregiver is away. (View the project online.)
  • Rachel Holladay, Carnegie Mellon University, "Robot Gesture Engine (RoGuE)"
    RoGuE is a motion-planning approach that enables robots to generate gestures across scenarios, which improve robot communication and partnership skills in human environments and collaborative settings. (View the project online.)
  • Meenupriya Swaminat han, Northeastern University, "Intrabody Internet of Implantables and Wearables Using Galvanic Coupling"
    This proposed technology allows implants to safely communicate wirelessly using the conduction properties of human body tissue, providing an energy efficient way to bridge the gap between the sensor and communication technologies. (View the project online.)
  • Jenny Wang, Harvard University, "Fully Automated Computational Brain Image Segmentation for Cross-Modality Analysis of Neurodegenerative Diseases"
    This project, which contributes directly to President Obama’s Brain Initiative, is an automatic brain image segmentation technique that allows for efficient and accurate brain modeling and analysis. (View the project online.)

Honorable mentions include:

  • Elaina Cole, College of Charleston, "Engineering an Open Source Coordinate System Converter"
  • Brittney English, Georgia Institute of Technology, "An Adaptive Robotic Tablet Gaming System for Post-Stroke Hand Function Rehabilitation"
  • Kathryn Hodge, Vassar College, "30 Days of Code"
  • Wei Low, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), "Kinecting with Robots: Integrating Data Flow Between the Microsoft Kinect 2.0 and ROS"
  • Nichola Lubold, Arizona State University - Tempe, "A Social Voice-Adaptive Robotic Learning Companion"
  • Kate Miller, University of Pennsylvania, "Neurosurgery Diary: Mobile Medical Records for Hydrocephalus Patients and Caregivers"
  • Halima Olapade, Drexel University, "Diggly: Reading and Exploring Wikipedia Articles in Graph Form"
  • Kate Park, Stanford University, "Uber: Keeping the Supply Engine Running"
  • Alisha Saxena, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), "A Microprocessor Controlled Device with Cloud Connected Sensors to Improve Cardiovascular Health and Workout Efficacy"
  • Farita Tasnim, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), "Ocean Wave Energy Harvesting"
  • Stephanie Valentine, Texas A&M University - College Station, "KidGab: A Safe Social Networking Space for Kids to Practice Digital Friendship Skills"
  • Irene Zhang, University of Washington - Seattle, "New OS Abstractions for Mobile/Cloud Application"

2015 NCWIT Collegiate Award Recipients

  • Brianna Connelly, University of Texas at Austin, “Callscout”
    Brianna’s project “Callscout” is a mobile application for Android and iOS that presents an alternative to the national 2-1-1 information hotline, using cognitive computing to connect individuals to social services related to housing resources, rental assistance programs, food pantries, healthcare, and more. Originally developed with a team as a class project, “Callscout” is now the basis of a startup to launch in July 2015 in Austin, Texas. (
  • Natalia Rodriguez, Southwestern University, “Mapping Instagram Data To Visualize Body Image Hashtags”
    Natalia’s project “Mapping Instagram Data To Visualize Body Image Hashtags” is a data visualization tool that allows users to reveal fundamental differences and similarities between hashtags #selfie and #blithe, a pro-anorexia keyword used by individuals suffering from eating disorders, on Instagram. Intuitive visuals created by merging computer science, data analysis, and various visualization tools shines light on the research surrounding the field of “body image” by closely analyzing all of the data linked to these images including likes, comments, and captions. (
  • Angela Sun, Michigan State University, “YOU++: a Smartphone Battery Drain Study”
    Angela’s project “YOU++: a Smartphone Battery Drain Study” is a mobile application for Android that allows users to discover patterns that affect their battery life such as the amount of time spent on apps, most used apps, and the number of times a phone is accessed in a day. “YOU++” collects data anonymously and confidentially from more than 3,000 person-days. (

Honorable mentions include:

  • Serena Booth, Harvard University, “SwimSwallow: An Abstract, Bio-inspired Robotic Fish”
  • Brooke Bosley, Wesleyan College, “Social Interaction: Robots and Apps Working Together to Educate Children”
  • Briana Chapman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Palette”
  • Caitlin Cowden, Purdue University, “The Volts Wagon: Exploring Microcontroller Peripherals” Stephanie Djidjev, University of California, Berkeley, “Logi-gif”
  • Amanda Downs, Southern Polytechnic State University, “ICD-9 to ICD-10 Converter”
  • Roya Edalatpour, University of Texas at El Paso, “Impulse Oscillometry Improves Discriminative Capacity of the Detection of Asthma in Anglo and Hispanic Children”
  • Katherine Miller, University of Pennsylvania, “Tracking Gun Violence: Machine Learning, Human Computation, and Epidemiology”
  • Angela Sy, Stanford University, “Nomz: Building Communities Around Passions”
  • Antonella Wilby, University of California, San Diego, “Stereo Camera Rig for Nautical Cyber-Archaeology”


2015 NCWIT Collegiate Award recipients