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Akshara is a senior at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy in Austin, Texas with a passion for applied computer science and women’s empowerment. Akshara has been participating in STEM activities from a young age, from Science Olympiad to science fair, and has always challenged herself to explore the wide range of fields comprising of science and mathematics.  She first developed an interest in computer science after attending a Society of Women in Engineering camp during the summer before sixth grade, where she was introduced to computer science through creating arduino- powered lights. Akshara began teaching herself HTML through altering the code in her Weebly websites to create her own website themes in middle school. She began to delve into learning more about HTML and CSS and began working in Python and Java as well. Akshara was inspired through watching her mother lead semiconductor technology enablement teams as a hardware engineer at GlobalFoundries. Her role models include Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, and Anita Borg. Throughout high school, Akshara has immersed herself in the areas of computer science and advanced mathematics courses and has enjoyed conducting graduate level research at the University of Texas at Austin since 9th grade. She has worked in two labs conducting research on computational epidemiology and engineering chemotherapy drugs respectively. Akshara taught herself the R programming language to study spatiotemporal predictors for future prediction and management of disease outbreaks through programming spatiotemporal models. Akshara is a purposeful leader in her school’s community as the president of her school’s Ambassadors Program, the captain of her school’s Science Olympiad team, and founder of the Women in Computer Science Club. WICS is an organization she started after discovering the lack of women in computer science classes through her own experiences. She founded and directed HackATX, the first hackathon for high school girls in Central Texas. Akshara is involved in her local community as the President of Girls Giving Grant, a nonprofit where 80 young women learn how to read and evaluate nonprofit grants and award $8000 to a local nonprofit. She has empowered many young women at Title 1 middle schools in Central Texas to build an interest in CS and STEM through her organization, The STEMInnovation Program. She will be attending Duke University this fall and is planning on double majoring in computer science and economics. She is very interested in the areas of algorithms for interpretable machine learning and applied computer science for healthcare and finance and aspires to be a social entrepreneur one day.