NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing Recipients to Be Honored Guests at the White House Science Fair

March 23, 2015

Four technical-minded young women from the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing program are among the nation’s most innovative minds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) today announced that four NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing recipients – Sreya Atluri, Maureen “Reeny” Botros, Anvita Gupta, and Sophia Sánchez-Maes – will be honored guests at the White House Science Fair on Monday, March 23, 2015.

In an ongoing effort by the Obama administration to inspire young people about STEM, the fifth White House Science Fair welcomes more than 100 of the nation’s brightest young minds with some showcasing innovative inventions, discoveries, and science projects.

  • DATE: Monday, March 23, 2015
  • TIME: 10:00 a.m. EDT
  • TUNE IN: www.whitehouse.gov/live
  • FOLLOW: #WHScienceFair, @whitehouse

About the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing Recipients

  • Sreya Atluri, a 2015 national runner-up, analyzed the mathematical dynamics of the mental fatigue phenomenon, which affects performance and the ability to stay focused by decreasing concentration efficiency. Her work has been recognized at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Summer Poster Day and several science fairs. Sreya is the Founder and CEO of Creating Awareness in Research and Education (www.careworldwide.org) as well as an Executive Director of Growth and Inspiration through Volunteering and Education (www.giveyouth.org).
  • Maureen “Reeny” Botros, a 2015 national runner-up, hypothesized that a fashion accessory that progressively illuminates as exercise intensity increases would be an attractive means to monitor, record, and incentivize physical activity. Her invention, Illumi-cize, uses a pulse meter to measure heart rate and send that information to a battery-powered Arduino computer chip that illuminates devices according to an individual’s target heart rate. Maureen presented her invention at the joint national meeting of the American Junior Academy of Sciences (AJAS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) this past February.
  • Anvita Gupta, a 2014 national winner, used computer machine learning techniques, 3D visualization and biomimicry to systematically find drugs to inhibit the interactions of IDPs with other proteins. After the approach was proven successful in identifying approved drugs, such as the inhibitor of the cancer protein Thrombin, Anvita went on to identify drugs that could potentially be used to treat tuberculosis and Ebola. She is the chapter founder of Rang De, a non-profit group that connects villagers in India with microloans, and she directs an afterschool program that teaches middle school girls programming skills. Anvita recently won third place in the Global Good category at the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search (STS).
  • Sophia Sánchez-Maes, a 2015 national winner, modeled algae growth in order to optimize the biofuel production process. She began working as a National Science Foundation Young Scholar, investigating the conversion of an extremophile algae from Yellowstone into biofuel. Her pioneering results speak to the potential for an energy-positive wastewater treatment system and demonstrate lower cost conversion, compared with traditional methods, in order to make this fuel more economically feasible. Sophia’s work has earned her recognition, as well as places, at the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge.

About the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing recognizes young women for their outstanding aptitude and interest in computing, proven leadership ability, academic performance, and plans for post-secondary education. The award program is a multi-tiered competition that includes recognition at the national level (sponsored by Bank of America) and at the local level (sponsored by Microsoft), serving 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and overseas U.S. military bases.

In addition to Bank of America and Microsoft, the Aspirations in Computing program is supported nationally by AT&T, Bloomberg, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Northrop Grumman, and the Symantec Corporation. Find out more at www.aspirations.org.   

About NCWIT

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of more than 600 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT equips change leaders with resources for taking action in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women from K–12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers. Find out more at www.ncwit.org.

NCWIT receives significant financial support from Strategic Partners NSF (the National Science Foundation), Microsoft, Bank of America, Google, and Intel, as well as from Investment Partners Avaya, Pfizer, Merck, AT&T, Bloomberg, and Hewlett-Packard. View all of NCWIT’s supporters at www.ncwit.org/about/supporters.

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