University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
Combining Computer Science and Stats through Robotics
Explain your interest in the major you selected and describe how you have recently explored or developed this interest inside and/or outside the classroom. You may also explain how this major relates to your future career goals. You may include any majors or areas of study you're currently considering. Limit your response to 300 to 400 words.
“There’s no shortage of female applicants, but we have trouble finding ones who are skilled enough,” said the female engineer guiding us at Adobe Headquarters, where my robotics team had the privilege of visiting. Her words stuck with me. I, myself, was once an aspiring coder who was inexperienced, but luckily, I joined a robotics team that patiently taught me software.
After visiting Adobe, I realized that aside from learning robotics myself, I wanted to share my knowledge with other girls. I began conducting research by interviewing young girls involved in robotics and noticed the disturbing trend: many girls join robotics teams to expand their coding and engineering skills, only to find their male teammates often unwilling to teach them. With their male peers already so far ahead, the girls lose confidence in robotics, either quitting or accepting their fate as “secretaries.” To tackle this problem, a teammate and I partnered with a Girl Scouts troop to equip Girl Scouts with the skills to contribute technically on a robotics team. We designed a four-session robotics program and developed a mentoring system through which high school girls served as role models to Girl Scouts. We taught coding and building, as well as using...
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