Big Island Students Earn NCWIT Recognition
The National Center for Women & Information Technology recognized nine young women from high schools across the state, two from the Big Island, as Hawai’i Regional Winners for their notable projects in computer science.
Erina Baudat of Hawai’i Preparatory Academy and Yu-Ann (Ashley) Chen of Hilo High were both honored at the ceremony for their outstanding work.
During the award ceremony luncheon, Department Chair and Professor David Chin talked with the students about computer sciences and engineering as creativity and told students that they could each “create something real that comes out of your mind.”
Five Kalani High school students were also honored, two of which received scholarships to attend UH-Manoa, where they will take courses in the Department of Information and Computer Sciences. Madisyn Sim received the 2015-2016 scholarship, and Camelia La received the scholarship for the 2016-2017 academic year. Riley Kishaba, Yongqi Lin, and Sim received 2015 Hawai’i Affiliate Award Runner-Up recognition in the National AspireIT competition.
Kalani’s Sara Nakagaki and Punahou School’s Aliya Petranik also received recognition for their outstanding work.
During the award luncheon, UH-Manoa Professor Kim Binsted presented her current work with the HI-SEAS project that is currently being led by UH and funded by NASA. For the project, a group of people are isolated in a structure on Mauna Loa. The project aims to find a solution that will one day sustain travelers to deep space.
Another woman in science, UH theoretical physicist Professor Susanne Still, talked to the students about her work in studying machine learning, which are machines that learn by getting feedback.
Young women are honored with the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing for being active in computing and technology. The award aims to encourage the students to pursue their passions.
The NCWIT affiliate in Hawai’i is supported by the UH-Manoa Department of Information and Computer Sciences.