In my free time, I enjoy swimming, cycling, and sleeping. I am also an avid reader of books, mostly nonfiction, in my free time. I used to play soccer when I was in elementary school, but stopped after realizing how bad I was at it (I believe I was on the E team, with A being the best and F being the worst). I also attended a summer basketball camp in eighth grade, where I was so bad that I only made a single shot in the entire course of the week-long experience. Ironically, that shot won my team the final match in the end-of-camp tournament. Going aside from my obvious athletic shortcomings, my favorite books include Randall Munroe’s
What If? and
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I have also been playing the piano for over ten years, and I can play a variety of musical styles not limited to jazz, classical, pop, and rock. I also enjoy watching TV (who doesn’t?), and my favorite TV shows include
Game of Thrones.
In addition, I have participated in several science fairs since seventh grade, through which I have vastly improved my presentation skills and research ability, made lifelong friends, and realized how awesome science is. In my first science fair project, I worked with a friend to design a robotic arm using LEGOs that had an anthropomorphic hand able to perform three-axis rotation, abduction of the fingers, and movement of the opposable thumb. From there, I began to focus more in bioinformatics, which I initially discovered after being denied from all the biomedical labs I cold-called (to be fair, I was only 14). My eighth grade science project involved applying machine learning techniques to biological circuit construction and achieved semifinalist status in the national science talent search. In freshman year, I investigated the benefits of graphical database for storage of BioBrick data, which earned first place at the state science fair. As a sophomore, I developed a compression algorithm for DNA sequencing data, and this year, I used neural networks to compare the gene expression profiles of developing mouse and human brains.
I also like to design websites in my free time. I made my first website back in fourth grade, which was an educational website that gave visitors an overview of math topics such as trigonometry and basic calculus. I would later employ my web design skills in several of my science fair projects, such as one that provided a genetic circuit design system powered by a Ruby on Rails server and another one that communicated with a Java-powered graph database to provide OpenGL-based visualizations of relationships between genes. I also designed the website for my previous schools' robotics team, which can be seen at
team4048.org (unfortunately, they seem to have made a few... improvements, so to speak). You can also see the code for this website
on GitHub, and all my other projects are there as well.
I am also a volunteer in Mass Academy's e-NABLE elective this year. In this club, we work on 3D-printing and assembling prosthetic hands for almost free ($16.58 to be exact). The reason for this low cost lies in the fact that the majority of the hand is mostly 3D-printed, and the only additional parts are elastic, string, Velcro, and some nuts and bolts. On the other hand, professional prosthetics often cost in the thousands and can take weeks or months to manufacture. We meet every Wednesday in the computer science room. My group, which consists of me,
Varnika, has specific tasks for each person. I am responsible for most of the 3D modeling. After assembling a dozen hands this year, we plan on mailing them out to the organization that delivers the prosthetics to the people who need them.