PRIYANKA KUMAR

Kumar

While pursuing her Congressional Award, Pri aimed her Personal Development goal on pursuing a career in STEM. She is working hard to break down the stereotypes of male-dominated fields and focusing on doing what she loves.

Her journey began at the AwesomeMath Summer Camp at Cornell University. Over the course of three-weeks, Pri learned discrete math topics ranging from probability and statistics to number theory. Pri loved tackling the challenges presented by the problems she faced. Each night she called home excitedly to share stories about the amazing topics and beautiful proofs she learned that day.

Pri put her skills to the test when she helped lift her team to 1st place in the Connecticut State Math Competition. She also went on to become the only freshman female on the Connecticut State Team at the American Regional Mathematics League National Competition.

Lately, Pri has discovered the math behind computer science at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Outreach Program, an intense two-week program taught by the Director of the Artificial Intelligence Lab.

Two weeks of learning Python and meeting other extraordinary women dedicated to STEM changed her life. Among other things, Pri used computers and programming to process and identify tweets asking for aid during natural disasters; made hospitals safer by reminding doctors to use hand sanitizers; designed auto-pilots for autonomous cars, and even used machine-learning algorithms to detect and identify cancer in the human genome.

Most recently, Pri has been working towards her Gold Medal by putting her STEM knowledge to use in Voluntary Public Service. For the past three months, Pri has been volunteering with a professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, to make 3D-printed human skin tissue for burn victims in hospitals. Pri's skin samples could reduce the need for animal testing.

Ms. Kumar wants to one day see female representation across all STEM fields. Working with three peers, the school administration, and the headmaster, Pri created better opportunities for diversity and inclusion in the Math and Science Department at her school.

She hopes that her story will inspire other girls to follow their dreams and to encourage them to "plant their own STEM".