As a first generation Indian-American, my lived experiences both growing up in rural South Carolina and visiting India strengthened my resolve in addressing today’s global energy challenges. Throughout my undergraduate in Materials Science and Engineering at Clemson University, I experienced many different aspects of research. Ultimately, I fell in love with the power of high-throughput computational studies and its ability to help gain a better understanding of composition-structure-property relationships. During my study of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at Cambridge University, I hope to combine molecular modeling techniques with informatics for the intelligent design of advanced nanomaterials at the atomic level, specializing in battery components. In particular, I am interested in optimizing ionic transport and interfacial reactions of MXene electrodes. By developing skills in both computational and experimental realms, I hope to better bridge the gap between the two and lead crucial collaboration in the space. By being a part of the Gates-Cambridge community, I will be surrounded with scholars and resources alike that will amplify my opportunities to explore the world and pursue my goals in innovative directions.
Clemson University Materials Science and Engr 2021
My aspirations to advance sustainable energy using computational materials research emerged from the convergence of pretty disparate influences. I first fell in love with materials science when I saw how different ceramic firing techniques affect the finish on pottery. Born and raised in the California Bay Area, I'd also grown to appreciate the capacity for computer science to augment scientific research, while simultaneously witnessing the detrimental effects of wildfires on people's lives. As an undergraduate at Stanford University, I've had the opportunity to explore broad intersections between all of these interests. My computational materials science research has focused on predicting local crystal structure around simulated particles. In the field of AI for climate change, I've performed research on automated dataset creation to facilitate urban transportation planning. At the University of Cambridge, I will combine what I've learned from these experiences by using generative machine learning models to accelerate materials discovery for batteries. Through this work during my MPhil and PhD, I hope to aid in designing more efficient renewable energy storage.
Stanford University Computer Science, AI Track 2021
Growing up in a family of four girls, I have always been attuned to the issues of women in American society. My experiences studying Medical Anthropology, Global Health, African Studies, and Gender Studies at Princeton expanded my understanding of social inequality and its impact on sexual health around the world. Through my ethnographic projects studying pregnant women during the pandemic and women using doula services, I recognized the lived experiences of women seeking healthcare amid various barriers. The chance to better these women's health options inspires me to continue my studies. After working on health equity in the US, South Africa, Vietnam, and New Zealand, I am eager to begin my MPhil in Health, Medicine, and Society at Cambridge to understand the social factors of health and wellbeing in a new cultural context. In my dissertation research, I will explore access to sexual health education for people with disabilities, both in the Cambridge community and internationally. After my time at Cambridge, I intend to attend medical school and practice as a women’s health physician. I am so honored and humbled to join such an outstanding community and learn from my fellow Gates Cambridge peers.
Princeton University Medical Anthropology 2021
Growing up in Guatemala and Germany, I have always been fascinated by the interplay of language and technology. My multicultural background led me to study a mixture of political science and economics, as an undergraduate student at Stanford University. Towards the end of my undergraduate degree, I became fascinated by the ability of machine learning to model complex cognitive phenomena. As a computer science master’s student at Stanford, I worked together with Dan Jurafsky to build deep learning models to automatically detect and remove bias in news articles. During my PhD in Computer Science, I hope to use insights from how the human brain understands language to improve machine learning and natural language processing models. By leveraging similar mechanisms used in the brain to process language, I believe it is possible to build models that require less data and computation and which can accordingly be more effectively applied to low-resource languages and domains.
While completing my B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University, I had the opportunity to work on a variety of research projects spanning the fields of computational genomics, viral pathogenesis, immunology, and neuroscience. After graduation, I entered medical school as a student in the Johns Hopkins Medical Scientist Training Program, where I continued to expand my interests in infectious and immune-mediated disorders of the central nervous system. During my PhD in Clinical Neurosciences, I will undertake a collaborative project between the NIH and Cambridge focusing on using remyelination biology and spatiotemporal modeling of multiple sclerosis lesion development to create a method for effectively assessing myelin protection and regeneration. Additionally, I will seek to investigate the underlying processes, including those involving environmental, infectious, and autoimmune factors, that contribute to neuroinflammatory pathology and subsequent demyelination and neurodegeneration. I am honored to be a Gates Scholar and am eager to use my training to pursue a career as a physician-scientist that combines clinical medicine, translational research, and teaching.
Johns Hopkins University Medicine 2027
Yale University Mol., Cell. & Dev. Biology 2019
University of Cambridge Study Abroad 2017
I was born in Detroit, Michigan and spent my teenage years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During my studies in Anthropology and English at Bowdoin College, I explored how humans express differences in their lived experiences to each other. I was a recipient of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, where I studied how storytelling can facilitate communication across differences in the context of school district community engagement. My professional experiences after Bowdoin solidified and honed my commitment to serving people while introducing me to the intersections of law, community engagement, and the American immigration system. This MPhil in Social Anthropology allows me to continue learning about the relationship between legal systems and immigrant communities in anthropological research. I plan to continue researching immigration law, legal consciousness, and how undocumented immigrants form collective identity in order to elevate immigrant voices and to promote the autonomy of immigrant communities. I am honored to join the Gates Cambridge community, where we all strive to learn how to serve people better.
Bowdoin College Anthropology, English 2018
My Princeton University and Columbia University degrees weren’t the first to teach me that inequity in education opportunities and outcomes is wide-spread, yet poorly-addressed. Writing my college and scholarship essays on my smartphone and having my mother bus me to the best free advanced academic programs available outside my neighborhood taught me that. When coupled with biases in technology that scholars like Ruha Benjamin, Joy Buolamwini, and Timnit Gebru expose, the future of EdTech and its ability to widen educational divides and be complicit in anti-Black racism is concerning. This conviction will guide my Cambridge PhD research as I investigate the use of EdTech applications by out-of-school youth (OSY). In meditating on what I aim to accomplish in the realm of EdTech, I ultimately start by questioning and analyzing how we adapt technology to students’ learning needs, working alongside students to design interventions. Moreover, I will grapple with how education can be made more equitable and how research is more than a distorted reflection imagined by outsiders studying communities unfamiliar to them. Rather, it’s an interrogation of how the Western world relinquishes agency and legitimacy to these communities.
Columbia University Teachers College Computing in Education 2020
Princeton University International Studies 2018
I have always admired the incredible resilience, adaptability, and complexity of life. While studying biological engineering and electrical engineering & computer science at MIT, I started to think of nature itself as a master engineer, spending billions of years perfecting the mechanisms that have sustained life. Working at the interface of biology and electronics allows for powerful treatments that can address serious gaps in medicine. For my research in bioelectronics, I plan to develop medical technology for targeted drug delivery to the brain. This approach opens up a myriad of applications—improving treatment for brain cancers, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases. I look towards building networks of problem solvers as a Gates Scholar to adapt medicine around the world.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Biological Engineering 2021
A native of Detroit who attended Michigan State University to study Political Science, I am deeply committed to reforming a US criminal justice system that is expensive, frequently counterproductive, and terribly damaging to inmates, their families, entire communities, and the functioning of democracy. As an undergraduate I carried out research on racial hierarchies, the self-segregation of African American and Latinx students in university dorms, and the misrepresentation of minorities in US history high school textbooks. I also served as Michigan State’s President of the Council of Disabilities and as Chief of Staff for a legal non-profit which, among other roles, represents refugees at risk of deportation. As an MPhil student in Criminological Research at Cambridge, I will conduct comparative research on the causes, rates and effects of incarceration across counties with a view to better understanding the exceptionalism of American penal policy. This will prepare me for a career dedicated to making the US criminal justice system more rational, equitable, and humane. I am thrilled to have the chance to get to know students from around the world who share my passion for learning and applying the fruits of academic inquiry.
Michigan State University Political Science 2021
My work focuses on the structure and content of representations in deep neural networks. State-of-the-art machine learning systems are ubiquitous in modern life. Deep neural networks exhibit a remarkable level of predictive success worthy of the popular label of artificial intelligence (AI). These systems find applications in everything from algorithmic decision assistance in medicine and criminal justice to playing board games like chess and Go. Our epistemic networks are increasingly intertwined with machine learning algorithms, and scientists rely on them in computational models. However, deep learning systems are opaque in ways that make explaining their capacities intractable. Philosophers of science are uniquely positioned to investigate critical questions concerning the widespread implementation of AI systems. How can deep neural networks teach us about the brain? How do these models generate explanations in science? To what extent does science demand transparency in AI? How should rapid technological advancements in AI inform public policy? How can we promote more humane and egalitarian implementations of AI in public life? Understanding how AI exploits abstract representations can shed light on these important questions.
University of Houston Philosophy 2021
University of Houston Philosophy 2019
As the first Asian-American woman Student Body President at the University of Pennsylvania, I spent many nights laughing, crying, and strategizing to advocate for issues ranging from sexual assault prevention to faculty diversity. This undergraduate leadership experience sparked my research interests in students’ lived experiences of belonging as well as the relationship of these experiences to institutional change in universities. This interest deepened while conducting research as a Fulbright Scholar in South Korea and undertaking my MPhil at Cambridge. Prior to my PhD, I worked at Harvard Business School, where I researched organizational change in higher education. As a Gates Scholar, I aim to continue investigating how universities can become bastions that reduce—and not reproduce—socioeconomic inequities and promote social good in diverse global societies. Findings can inform policies of universities worldwide so that they can better mold civically-minded future generations who possess the ability to collaborate across differing identities and perspectives.
University of Cambridge Education (Thematic) 2018
University of Pennsylvania Political Science 2015
I come to Cambridge with about 5 years of experience in the US government having covered diverse Northeast Asian security and foreign policy issues alongside areas such as news & data analysis. As I began this position early on as an undergraduate student, I was able to both study and work concurrently for several years. Despite the challenges, this has provided me with a more balanced and multidimensional perspective combining both academic and policy viewpoints. My research will involve analyzing primary sources such as government documents in 5-6 different languages and continue to explore Northeast Asia security and foreign policy dynamics, with a particular focus on the Korean Peninsula. I seek to do my part in making valuable contributions to an important and pertinent topic in international security and inter-state relations concerning one of the most geopolitically tense places worldwide and involving the complex interactions between some of the most powerful security actors in the world.
Georgetown University Asian Studies 2020
University of Southern California International Relations 2017
My doctoral research at the Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance will compare the low-carbon energy transformations of China and India through the lens of clean energy access and development. As two of the world’s largest emitters of CO2, China and India must both contend with meeting growing energy needs for development while pursuing urgent action on climate change. Through my research, I hope to improve policymakers’ understanding of the challenges associated with rural electrification as well as with the decarbonization of the power supply in these two countries. I will also work on the Economics of Energy Innovation and System Transition project, helping to develop empirically validated modeling tools to assess the impacts of energy and technology-related policies on the clean energy transitions of China, India, Brazil, the UK and EU. When I left Cambridge in the middle of my master’s program as the pandemic was first unfolding, I did not know if I would have the chance to return. I am so grateful to the Gates Cambridge Trust for enabling me to pursue my PhD in a place where I have so many happy memories.
Tsinghua University Global Affairs 2021
University of Cambridge Public Policy 2020
Yale University Geophysics, Political Science 2019
I grew up in Athens, Georgia and earned a bachelor’s degree in Classical Languages at the University of Georgia. Both of my parents are classical musicians, and because of this a deep love for sound, language, and music has shaped my research interests in Classics. As I pursue an MPhil degree in Classics at Cambridge, I plan to write a thesis on Augustine’s theories of music. I believe that studying the role and function of music is worthwhile because it means exploring how art touches the emotions and influences human behavior. The arts assume that life has meaning, they unify human beings around hope, and they foster philosophical principles useful for action in the world. Music in particular communicates emotions that link each human mind to something greater than itself. I hope that a thesis on ancient musicology, investigating the connection between beauty and emotion, can help illuminate the role of music today. I am honored to join the Gates Cambridge community as I commit myself to a forward-looking examination of ancient musicology, believing that both literature and music prepare individuals for thought and action in the world.
University of Georgia Classics 2021
As a neuroscience and behavior major at Vassar College, I realized I was as passionate about digitally reconstructing mouse neurons as I was about working one-on-one with preschoolers in the on-campus nursery. I went on to intern at a neuroimaging research laboratory, where I saw the power and potential of brain imaging technology to conduct impact-oriented research. As a PhD candidate at Cambridge’s MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, I will explore the neural mechanisms underlying various cognitive and behavioral profiles in a heterogeneous group of children with learning-related difficulties. Ultimately, I aim to model the dynamic relationships between neural, behavioral, and cognitive development, capturing nuanced individual differences to inform evidence-based strategies that support children with learning challenges. In my free time, I enjoy being outside and playing basketball and rugby. I am honored to be part of the Gates Cambridge community and excited to learn from scholars from around the world.
Vassar College Neuroscience and Behavior 2020
The ability to determine the detailed structures of macromolecules has always amazed me. In 7th grade, I was invited to participate in Project CRYSTAL, a program that pairs middle school students with PhD candidates to solve a protein structure using X-ray crystallography. I fell in love with X-ray crystallography again as an undergraduate student at Boston University and decided to specialize in structure-based drug discovery to contribute to the advancement of medicine. Outside of the lab, I also enjoyed sharing my passion for science with my community in the Greater Boston area. My experiences tutoring math and science in jails and prisons brought me out of the academia bubble and forced me to confront the impact of my research on marginalized groups. In the United States, high drug prices often prevent people from receiving their prescribed medications. During my PhD in Biochemistry, I plan to use protein structures to design novel therapeutics that restore muscle mass in patients with muscle atrophy disorders. My ultimate goal is to start my own pharmaceutical company modeled after Distributed Bio, which was launched without venture capital and can thus set affordable drug prices while remaining profitable.
Boston University Biotechnology 2021
As an undergraduate studying Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech, I became fascinated with medical imaging during internships and research focused on minimally invasive device design for radiology procedures. In my post-graduate work as a consultant, I sought to create impact through healthcare innovation but realized that subconscious bias in tactical solution design often excludes patients with the greatest need. We witnessed this during the COVID-19 crisis as those unable to access or afford care suffered disproportionately.
While innovation is key to society’s well-being and progress, I believe we are also obligated to ensure that it reaches those who need it most. Through my PhD research in radiogenomics, an emerging field that combines medical imaging with genomic data, I seek to develop imaging biomarkers and predictive models for liver cancer. Ultimately, this research aims to improve access to care and reduce the resource burden on health professionals by creating tools that enhance diagnostics, enable remote assessment, and improve precision care for an under-funded yet deadly cancer.
My research is supervised by Dr. Evis Sala in the Radiogenomics and Quantitative Imaging Group within the Department of Radiology.
Georgia Institute of Technology Biomedical Engineering 2018
My hands were rarely clean; as a child in the remote southwest of Colorado, I grew up shaping and being shaped by nature. A youth spent making a place for myself in that vast wilderness by building humble forts of pine, mud and snow endowed me with a reverence for the fundamental interconnectedness of ecology which found purpose in a career devoted to addressing the unprecedented challenges of a globalized, majority-urban, and climatically unstable world using the equally unprecedented potential of big data and digital technologies. Undergraduate management of teams of Engineers Without Borders in Rwanda, professional experience contributing to the USA’s largest net-zero energy neighborhood, and extended working travel throughout Europe guided me to enroll in the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia’s premier Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings & Biocities hosted at Valldaura Labs, a progressively holistic research and fabrication facility just 10km from Barcelona’s center yet surrounded by forest. Upon graduation in 2019 I assumed a leadership role at Valldaura, where I pursued the investigations of regionally attuned circular value-chains and nature-based solutions for development I’ll further in my PhD studies.
Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya Advanced Ecological Buildings 2019
University of Colorado at Boulder Env. Design: Architecture 2014