The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Selects Finalists for the 2021 NCWIT Collegiate Award

NCWIT Collegiate Award Logo

NCWIT is pleased to announce finalists for the 2021 NCWIT Collegiate Award, celebrating 82 undergraduate and graduate students who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary from 57 academic institutions nationwide.

Conferred annually, the NCWIT Collegiate Award recognizes technical contributions to projects that demonstrate a high level of innovation and potential impact. The 82 finalists were selected based on their achievements and technical abilities exhibited through their projects submitted in their Preliminary Round applications.

View a complete list of the 2021 finalists below.

Final Round application reviews are open February 1 through February 26. Find out how to volunteer at

The entire NCWIT AiC program platform is supported generously by Apple. AiC also receives support for specific national program elements; the NCWIT Collegiate Award is sponsored by Qualcomm and Amazon with additional support from Palo Alto Networks.


• Isabel Abonitalla, Hunter College City University of New York (CUNY), Applying Frontal Cortex Metabolites Quantified by 7-Tesla 1H-MRS to Predict Multiple Sclerosis Subtype Through Recursive Partitioning and Conditional Inference Trees
• Fatima Ali, University of California - Irvine, Logistics Platform for the Farmlink Project
• Fatma Arslan, University of Texas - Arlington, Semantically-Informed Data-Driven Factual Claim Verification
• Hannaneh Barahouei Pasandi, Virginia Commonwealth University, A Learning-Based Framework for Self-Driving Design of Networking Protocols
• Sarah Bloom, Stanford University, Suryodaya Web App to Remote Control Configurations and Visualize Data from Low-Cost, Energy-Efficient Greenhouse in Rural India
• Amanda Bolden, University of Dayton, Smart Cane
• Alicia Boyd, DePaul University, Intersectional Quantitative Analysis of the #MeToo Movement
• Jacqueline Brown, Marshall University, A Theil Index-Based Countermeasure Against Advanced Vampire Attack in the Internet of Things
• Isabel Cachola, Johns Hopkins University, TLDR: Extreme Summarization of Scientific Documents
• Leqian (Emma) Cai, Indiana University - Bloomington, Deicing Robot on High Voltage Wire
• Isha Chakraborty, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), A Novel Application of Polygenic Risk Scores To Transcription Phenotypes
• Hope Chambers, University of Oklahoma, Cerebral Palsy Symbiotic Robot
• Hanjie Chen, University of Virginia, Learning Variational Word Masks to Improve the Interpretability of Neural Text Classifiers
• Hannah Chen California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Evaluating Operational Implementation of the Deep Space Network's Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN)
• Alexandra Chin, Wellesley College, Olfactory Communications System
• Anoushka Chintada, University of California - Los Angeles, Confirming the Existence of K2 Candidate Exoplanets Using the Transit Method
• Shivali Choudhary, California State University - East Bay, IRFIS
• Tara Chugh, University of Chicago, COVID-19 Policy and Mobility Data Science Project
• Kira Corbett, Oregon State University, Synthesis: A Robotics Simulation Tool to Combine CAD and Code
• Audrey Cui, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), From Pixel to Paragraph: A Deep Artwork Analysis Paragraph Generator
• Meenakshi Das, Auburn University, Accessible Block-Based Programming for K-12 Students with Visual and Hearing Disabilities
• Ukamaka Ezimora, University of California - Merced, Sepia Sisters's Voting Game / Python Voting System
• Erica Fagnan, University of California - Santa Barbara, Graph Theoretic Treatment of Nanocarbon Structures
• Katelyn France, University of Minnesota - Duluth, "Anaphylactic Shocker!" Creating Novel Medtech Devices and Supporting the Next Generation of Womxn in STEAM
• Kyla Gabriel, University of Alabama - Birmingham, COVID-19 Environmental Screening
• Vinitha Gadiraju, University of Colorado - Boulder, BrailleBlocks: Braille Toys for Collaborative Literacy Learning
• Patricia Garcia, Florida International University, College Thrifts
• Brianna Garland, Stevens Institute of Technology, Design of Grail Automated Healthcare Records
• Megan Goulet, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Health Empowerment by Analytics, Learning, and Semantics (HEALS) Project
• Jennifer Guerrero, City Colleges of Chicago - Wilbur Wright College, PlanIt
• Rachel Guo, Harvard University, Enhancing Poaching Predictions for Under-Resourced Wildlife Conservation Parks Using Remote Sensing Imagery
• Erin Howard, Western Washington University, Leveraging Statistical Analysis to Develop Labels for Astronomical Time Series Data
• Emma Hubbell, Quinnipiac University, Figure it Out: a Game to Increase Data Driven Decision Making in Public Health
• Sneha Iyer, University of Virginia, An AI application to Diagnose Melanoma by Analyzing Image Files
• Israa Jaradat, University of Texas - Arlington, Automatic Cherry-Picking Detection and Correction in Textual Data
• Dana Joseph, Yale University, Understanding Cardiac Hypertrophy Through Computational Models of Eccentric Heart Contractions
• Johanna Karras, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Comparing Regularized Maximum Likelihood and Deep Neural Network Methods for Black Hole Imaging
• Lauren Klein University of Southern California, Automated Analysis of Infant-Mother Coordination
• Aparna Kumar, Columbia University, Natya*ML
• Kirthi Kumar, University of California - Berkeley, Developing Novel Computational Models for Prescription and Illicit Drug Addiction Dynamics in the COVID-19-Amplified Opioid Epidemic
• Caitlin Lau, Cornell University, Drag Augmented Reality Toolkit
• Laura Lewis, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Implementing Remote-State Preparation on a Noisy Intermediate-Size Quantum Device
• Kaitlyn Ludlam, University of Florida, AstroBot STEM NonProfit Corp./
• Suchita Lulla, University of Colorado - Boulder, Understanding PCR Primer Bias and its Impact on the Study of Var Genes in P. Falciparum
• Cassandra Marcussen, Columbia University, Parallelized Parsing for Fast Machine Learning Systems
• Adriana Martinez, Carnegie Mellon University, Autolab
• Nicole Meister, Princeton University, Bringing Technology to Conservation Groups by Creating Accessible Mangrove Monitoring and Classification Tools
• Maram Muhsen, Indiana University - Bloomington, Folic Acid Supplementation Rescues Valproic Acid-Induced Developmental Neurotoxicity and Behavioral Alterations in Zebrafish Embryos
• Divya Nagaraj, Stanford University, Weak Labeling Pipeline for Clinical Information Extraction from Unstructured MRI Notes
• Chariane Nkengfack, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Toute
• Obianuju Okafor, University of North Texas, Helping Students with Cerebral Palsy Program via Voice-Enabled Block-based Programming
• Melika Osareh, University of North Carolina - Greensboro, 2D-Clinostat Testing for Gravity Randomizing Effect on Arabidopsis Thaliana Plants
• Abigayle Peterson, Western Washington University, Magnify Wellness
• Yao Hodalo Poudima, University of Maryland - College Park, CerSmart
• Anika Pruthi, College of New Jersey, SMILE: A Novel Diagnostic and Monitoring Tool For Facial Paralysis
• Isha Puri, Harvard University, A Scalable and Freely Accessible Machine Learning Based Web Application for the Early Detection of Dyslexia
• Evani Radiya-Dixit, Stanford University, Learning Efficient Natural Language Processing Models
• Kimari Rennis, New York University, I Forgot How to Cry
• Alexandra Rindone, Johns Hopkins University, High-Resolution Quantitative 3D Imaging of Blood Vessels and Bone Cells in the Skull
• Sarah Robertson, Indiana University - Bloomington, Construction of Cancer-Associated circRNA-miRNA Networks
• Devika Shanbhag, Carnegie Mellon University, Power Plane Design Using Reinforcement Learning
• Nikita Sietsema, Calvin College, Train Go Sorry
• Anika Singh, University of Texas - Austin, Object Classification Using Segments of Point Cloud Data for Tactile Sensing
• Mabel Smith, University of Virginia, Zon Loopt Running Routes
• Jenna Sorsen, Bethel University - Saint Paul, Lights for Lives
• Ashley Suh, Tufts University, CAVA++: An Automatic Visualization Recommendation System via Knowledge Graphs for Data-Enriched Exploration
• Marissa Sumathipala, Harvard University, Network Medicine Platform for Predicting Noncoding RNA Drug Targets
• Alexandra Szewc, Johns Hopkins University, Cytoscope: CD4 Count Estimator
• Farita Tasnim, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Real-Time Decoding of Facial Strains via Conformable Piezoelectric Interfaces
• Angelique Taylor, University of California - San Diego, Robot Social Navigation in the Emergency Department
• Maya Venkatraman, Columbia University, Adding YouTube HLS Output to OBS (Open Broadcaster Software)
• Sherrie Wang, Stanford University, Mapping Crop Types in India with Smartphone Crowdsourcing and Deep Learning
• Yaxuan Wang, Rice University, Speedup of Bayesian Inference of Species Phylogenies
• Zhixue Wang, Duke University, Big Data for Reproductive Health (bd4rh)
• Chrysm Watson Ross, University of New Mexico, COVID-19 Misinformation Analysis
• Linda Weng, University of Michigan, Vitam
• Arissa Wongpanich, University of California - Berkeley, Asynchronous Methods for Scaling Up Distributed Deep Learning on High Performance Computing Clusters
• Sirinda Wongpanich, University of California - Berkeley, Natural Language Processing and Deep Learning for Precision Healthcare
• Victoria Xin Stanford University, Predicting Antihypertensive Medication Efficacy through Machine Learning Survival Analyses in a Revascularized Patient Population
• Alice Yeh, University of California - Berkeley, GEM: Leveraging Wearable Technology for Personal Safety
• Maya Zeng, El Camino College, Portable Wireless Signal Booster Concept Paper
• Victoria Zhang, Harvard University, Patterns and Symmetries in Spiking Neural Networks


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