First Name

Debjani

Last Name

D.

Bio

Debjani is a junior at The Brearley School. She is passionate about computer science, astronomy, and astrophysics. In the BridgeUP: Brown Scholars at the AMNH, Debjani used both programming and astronomy knowledge to create an interactive, navigable 3D map of Milky Way stars and their orbiting planets to help scientists determine if life was possible on those planets. As a student at BlueStamp Engineering, she designed a virtual reality of the Milky Way and also engineered a physical remote controller to navigate through the VR. These projects have furthered Debjani's passion for computer science-- she's particularly amazed at how several lines of code written on a computer screen can produce tangible solutions not only to scientific inquiries, but also to other real-world problems. Debjani believes that the information she has learned over the years is worth spreading, especially to girls her age who often shy away from STEM fields because it is not seen as particularly "girly." She also thinks that it is critical to teach younger kids computer science as it becomes more important in daily life; even if students aren't interested in pursuing STEM in the future, Debjani believes that the logical, problem solving mindset learned from coding can be applied to any real-life situation. As part of her mission to get more young people, especially girls, engaged and excited about coding, Debjani teaches STEM and volunteers at a variety of schools and programs. She was a teacher assistant at the BridgeUP program where she helped the students, whose seats she once sat in, to debug and understand their code as well as cultivate their love of coding. On her Saturdays, she volunteers at the GO project where she assists students in under-resourced public schools with their math and problem-solving skills. Furthermore, she works as a teacher assistant at P.S. 6, a school a few blocks from her own, where she challenges her robotics and 3D printing students to problem-solve collaboratively and think logically in order to complete the given task. At Brearley, an all-girls school, Debjani is co-head of the Computer Science Club, where she hopes to encourage members to pursue their interest in computer science by creating engaging projects for them to realize the potential of coding. This year, she hopes to host her school's first hackathon and invite girls from neighboring schools to foster a supportive environment where girls are eager to take risks and feel comfortable in making mistakes. In the future, Debjani sees herself pursuing a degree in computer science and minoring in astronomy or aerospace engineering. She hopes to combine her passion for coding and space in a career at NASA where she can write the software for shuttles and other instruments that are critical in collecting in data to understand the universe.