First Name

Sierra

Last Name

W.

Bio

Sierra is a future data engineer. In her junior year, she was accepted to the Gatton Academy of Math and Science at Western Kentucky University, a two-year residential high school, and is currently a senior there. Her interest in computing began here, when she realized the power of code to solve (almost) any problem possible. She conducted and presented research in meta-heuristic algorithms of machine learning's potential to solve cloud load balancing problems for computationally expensive clouds. This research was enabled by a WKU FUSE grant. In her first semester at Gatton, she completed five Coursera courses to learn Artificial Intelligence, and took an additional online lecture series for cryptography. She also audited a Python course in addition to her computer science courses. Last summer she conducted research for a machine-learning enhanced network intrusion detection system for WiFi-controlled drones, which was supported with a Gatton RIG grant, and which is currently being submitted to the Regeneron Science Talent Search Competition. In the Spring semester of 2018, she and her partner created a face identification system in Wolfram Mathematica, which combined cloud computing, SQL databases, and manual dataset creation. Sierra is currently a member of the WKU ACM group (Association for Computing Machinery) and the WKU Cloud Lab. She plans on attending university for both bachelors and masters degrees in data science, and would also enjoy interning alongside school. Sierra is also interested in studying data ethics and bias in data mining, and hopes to see the day when AI becomes more intelligent than humans.