First Name

Akshaya

Last Name

D.

Bio

Akshaya is a high school senior from North Brunswick, NJ who has a strong passion for computer science. After taking Intro to Comp Sci her freshman year, she fell in love with Java and programming in general. Her technology experience was fueled by her participation in 34+ hackathons. One of her greatest accomplishments is winning the Grand Prize at PennApps XIV last year. Another huge accomplishment was winning Grand Prize at TechCrunch Disrupt NY this year for creating a VR diagnostic tool for ADHD. Throughout her experiences at these hackathons, she has learned many new tech skills like Android/iOS app development, web dev, and most importantly, VR/AR development. Akshaya has developed many useful applications for VR/AR, like an educational HTC Vive app that helps young students learn programming. She has also built a physical therapy simulation for Oculus Rift, a navigation mobile app to avoid crime-dense areas, and a Hololens app that translates the spoken word to sign language. Her goal is to use technology to make the world a better place for everyone. Akshaya, knowing how difficult it was for her to get into CS, is devoted to helping other students to learn more about CS. A few years ago, she started a Technology Club at her school. She also runs a national nonprofit, called Girls Make Apps, that runs programs for middle & high school girls to get exposed to programming at an earlier age. Their first program, with help from Microsoft and AspireIT, was able to reach over 40 middle school girls in the NYC area and teach them app development and entrepreneurship. However, the largest event of Girls Make Apps is ByteHacks, their annual all-female hackathon that attracts over 200 women across the Northeast to Spotify's NY HQ for 24 hours of hacking and collaborative problem-solving centered around Social Impact. In the near future, Akshaya plans on majoring in Computer Science at MIT. After that, her dream is to work at a large tech company like Facebook or Google before gaining enough experience to work full-time on her own tech startups.