At this point, I have been in school for the majority of my life. I have always had a wide diversity of scholastic interests. While I have embraced Math and Science as my primary focus throughout my academic journey, I also love to write and find joy and inspiration in reading creative literature.
Throughout middle school and high school, I took part in a wide variety of programs that challenged me mentally and exposed me to a multitude of academic and professional avenues. Manhattanville College had an amazing summer program, MPALS, for middle school students that afforded participants a rich introduction to advanced topics in Math and Science. Mercy College had a summer program called Mathematical Modeling at Mercy College (M3C) that encouraged me to think about Math in a new light. Columbia University had a program called State Pre-College Enrichment Program (S-PREP) that was tailored largely toward the medical sciences. By the time, I was ready for college, I had established a rough set of academic interests that I was curious to explore in depth.
After wading through the precarious waters of the college application process, I had found myself floating toward the dock at MIT in the Fall of 2013. Here, I would study Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2) for my Bachelor's Degree. I could say a lot about my undergraduate years, but to summarize, they were simultaneously the most challenging and enriching four years of my life. I expanded my library of mental models, I stretched my vocals in new ways on the stage, and I learned how to lead a community in a demanding environment. Because - and sometimes in spite - of all of this, I met some amazing people that are still with me to this day!
After undergrad, I went for Round 2: the Master of Engineering (MEng) program. Here, I would specialize in Computer Systems. The MEng experience was not something for which I could possibly have sufficiently prepared. What seemed like a free, simple one-year program on paper would include countless unaccommodated requests for RA (Research Assistant) positions, one lab switch after the first semester, one expensive unsponsored semester, and many thoughts of uncertainty and doubt on the road to the finish line.
For all of these trials, I found my stride somewhere along the way. On October 30, 2017, I was blessed to be accepted into the Decentralized Information Group (DIG) within MIT's world-class Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). Led by the illustrious privacy, security, and systems research scientist, Lalana Kagal, and the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, I was in great company. Under their tutelage, I learned a lot about Web technologies of the past, present, and future and positioned myself to really break grounds both in academia and in industry.
For my thesis, I focused on improving the landscape of digital identity with Web 3.0 technologies. I developed a personal online credentials management tool where users could manage anything from a driving license to an academic diploma. You can read more about it here and play with it here. These days, I remain involved in the Web 3.0 and digital identity communities through various Community Groups within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), including the Credentials Community Group (CCG) and the Solid Community Group.