Participants

Jennifer Lee

jen

Major: Molecular Biology
Certificate: Computer Science and Engineering Biology
Year: 2017

Jennifer Lee is a junior majoring in Molecular Biology, with certificates in Computer Science and Engineering Biology at Princeton University. She is interested in medical research and entrepreneurship, and hopes to combine the two into a career in biotechnology and medtech. Leveraging her prior laboratory experience in pathology and hematology research, Jen is currently doing research in using optogenetics to gain precise temporal and spatial insights in cancer signalling pathways. At the age of 16, she started her own innovative fashion company, Verque, and self-wrote the utility patent for the flagship product. Currently, Jen is working on Cartful, a new social shopping site that allows users to purchase from over 300 brands all on one site. On campus, she is on the executive board of Princeton Innovation, the Entrepreneurship Club, and organizes the Social Impact Conference. After realizing the dearth of STEM companies that come to campus to talk about careers in science and technology, Jen came up with the idea behind InnovTrip to bring students to the very companies that they are actually interested in. Besides her interests in medicine and entrepreneurship, she loves golf after playing competitively for the last 12 years and is a published food blogger.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:
Cartful is a new social shopping site that aims to bring small fashion brands to the forefront of people’s minds. With our Cartful “Discover” button, users can shop from over 300 brands and put everything in one cart, all without leaving our site. Small, up-and-coming brands are providing products that may be higher quality and even cheaper, but consumers don’t realize they exist as an option, until now. We have already built the website (cartful.co) with all 300+ brands fully integrated onto the platform along with their existing website aesthetics and programmed our “Discover” button with our own proprietary algorithm. Also, last month, we received a $1,000 grant from the 1517 fund, which is run by former directors of the Thiel Fellowship. Cartful was also invited to present at Celebrate Princeton Invention along with other top researchers and entrepreneurs at Princeton.

Abrar Choudhury  

abrar

Major: Molecular Biology
Certificate: Global Health and Engineering Biology
Year: 2016

Abrar Choudhury is a molecular biology major at Princeton who is studying breast cancer progression for his senior thesis research. Abrar’s research has given him an in-depth perspective into basic science and academic research. Beyond his lab work, Abrar has been very involved with science communication as the former Editor-in-Chief of Princeton Innovation. Abrar deeply values making science accessible to lay audiences, something he feels is often lacking in the academic community. InnovTrip will give Abrar the opportunity to meet with private sector companies who have taken science research and applications, and had to make it accessible, either to investors or to potential customers. Ultimately, Abrar believes that advances in STEM occur the most effectively when there is cooperation and understanding between academia, industry, and regulators. Gaining more perspective about these realms from established companies who have successfully navigated them will be a boon for whatever career path Abrar pursues in STEM.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:
I am currently researching breast cancer in the Kang Lab at Princeton, which really excites me because of the interesting way I’m combining our understanding of different biological processes as well as its potential implications. I am studying how epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, could regulate a tumor suppressor. Epigenetics is a growing field and being able to study it in the context of cancer has given me exposure to many different aspects of biology. Finally, by studying cancer, I hope my work will eventually have a positive impact in people’s lives.

Dan DiGiorno

dan

Major: Molecular Biology
Year: 2016

Having researched signaling dynamics and the effects of mutations on the Ras/Erk pathway, Dan DiGiorno is looking to translate his education in molecular biology and the skills learned through research into a career in STEM. He wants to pursue a career that allows for continual learning and growth. Dan is looking for a career that allows him to work towards meaningful goals, and feels that careers in STEM have the potential to beneficially the impact the lives of others. His experience working in the Toettcher lab has uniquely prepared him for industry as it has allowed him to work with cutting edge optogenetic techniques and challenged him to answer new questions. Furthermore, he has been performing research in a largely independent fashion, as opposed to being partnered to a graduate student, and the responsibility of producing meaningful results and meeting deadlines has prepared him for the working world.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:
I am currently working on my thesis research in the Toettcher Lab. My project focuses on using optogenetics to interrogate the effects of several mutations in the Ras/Erk pathway, a common signaling pathway in cells implicated in a variety of cancers. Optogenetic control of the pathways has allowed for precise control of inputs, allowing me to determine directly the effects of the mutations whereas traditional methods would have confounding effects of other pathway inputs.

Catherine Wu

cat

Major: Computer Science
Year: 2017

Catherine Wu is a Junior in the Computer Science department at Princeton University. On campus, she is involved in several computer science groups and is a member of the synchronized skating team. Last summer, she did full-stack development at Bloomberg, which involved topic modeling and UX design. This past semester, her independent work involved financial time series analysis where she analyzed the Wikipedia network to identify page views that would be predictive of a stock’s volume changes. This coming semester, Catherine will be interning at Google Mountain View on the Chrome Apps team. She is excited for a career in tech and hopes to learn about the exciting work being done throughout the field during InnovTrip. Spending time at these companies will help Catherine see what problems are being tackled, and will guide her to finding a mission to contribute to full-time.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:
During my internship at Bloomberg last summer, I applied unsupervised topic modeling to a database of 1,000+ frequently asked questions (FAQs) in order to group them by topic so that the business team would be able to assign ownership of related FAQs to individuals. This involved working with various models and fine-tuning alpha, beta, and number of topics parameters. Afterwards, I created an internal function with an intuitive user interface that would facilitate editing and updating the FAQs and would generate an updated topic model when needed.

Kaijia Tian

kaijia

Major: Chemical and Biological Engineering
Certificate: Engineering Biology
Year: 2017

As a junior in the chemical and biological engineering department, Kaijia Tian is interested in the field of biotechnology and its social impacts. She spent her past summer in the Czech Republic improving MATLAB algorithms for viewing cancer cells in vivo and using atomic force microscopy to determine the affinity of cell to substrate in order to determine the most compatible material for making bodily implants. Her current plan for after graduation is to work for a pharmaceutical company and engineer affordable drugs to help the millions of people in need. However, she hopes that this trip will help her further explore her options and see first-handedly what working in the STEM field entails.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:
Back in high school, I participated in a math based biology research program at Rice University, where I learned about knot theory and its relation to cell biology. Under the mentorship of professors, I improved the protocol for determining the extent of DNA entanglement, which plays a role in causing genetic defects in an organism. This experience exposed me to how novel research is occurring at the intersection of multiple fields, and helped me pick my major, chemical and biological engineering, so I can combine my knowledge of chemistry, physics, biology, and math to do some good in the world.

Steven Tsai

steven

Major: Chemical and Biological Engineering
Certificate: Engineering Biology
Year: 2017

Steven Tsai is a junior-year chemical and biological engineer interested in the intersection of health and innovation. His calling: to become a leader in medicine through novel research and by improving clinical care. At school, Steven balances his classes and the responsibilities of extracurriculars, tutoring highschool students on calculus and sciences as a campus job while still pursuing personal interests such as origami folding and keeping abreast of the latest developments in scientific AI and neural-network learning. An innovator, Steven hopes to one day be able to ride in a Google self-driving car.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:
My summer mentor asked me: “Steven, what do you know about how Medicare pays insurance claims?” I said, “Does anyone know that with their own insurance?” “Good answer” she said. “I want you to write a program for teaching hospitals around the country. Given a Medicare claim, that program will spit out the correct dollar amount a hospital should receive.” Five weeks later, 1,000 lines of code, I finished my program, a program that will revolutionize how hospitals understand Medicare because instead of grappling with financial uncertainty of this quarter’s revenue, hospitals will know how much money Medicare will be paying.

Amanda Shi

amanda

Major: Economics
Certificate: Computer Science, Statistics and Machine Learning
Year: 2018

Amanda Shi is a sophomore at Princeton University interested in the intersection of computer science, economics, and psychology. She’s excited by social entrepreneurship, learning new technologies, and building tools for inclusion, equality, and transparency. Last summer, Amanda worked in product & front-end development at Ashoka, one of the world’s largest social impact non-profits. This summer, she’ll be working on the Core Search team at Google. On campus, Amanda directs Princeton’s sole social impact funding competition, manages HackPrinceton’s $100K operating budget, and plays competitive tennis on Princeton’s Club team. In her spare time, she likes to tinker on quirky side projects, write viral online articles, and finish the latest Buzzfeed quizzes.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:
I built Ashoka Whisper last summer after observing a lack of transparency at the organization I was working at. Inspired by Yik Yik and Whisper, Ashoka Whisper is a web application that provides employees an anonymous platform for discussing various issues within the company– from gender-based discrimination to biases in the hiring process. Because of Ashoka Whisper, the company now hosts weekly “safe space” discussions about how certain problematic issues can be addressed, and also come up with solutions to those problems.
I built it with Meteor, a framework I had no prior experience with. I again was amazed by the power of technology, and how it can be applied to solve problems and enact social good.

Anna Broome

anna

Major: Electrical Engineering
Year: 2018

Anna Broome is a sophomore Electrical Engineering major at Princeton, pursuing a certificate in Robotics and Intelligent Systems. She is passionate about applying her engineering skills to make an impact in the lives of others, particularly through biotechnologies such as wearables or robotics-aided prostheses. Since early 2015, Anna has been research assistant for a concussion study that aims to quantify the frequency, severity, and location of head impacts sustained among collegiate soccer and lacrosse athletes, in part through the use of sensors worn by the athletes. This work combines her love of sports and interests in emerging sensor technologies. She hopes that participating in InnovTrip will open her eyes to the multitude of interdisciplinary opportunities available within STEM and allow her to connect with like-minded students, alumni, and professionals.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:
I’m a research assistant for a concussion research study on campus that uses sensors stuck behind the ears of varsity soccer and lacrosse athletes to measure the forces resulting from head impacts. It’s a novel study because it measures the effects of different types of impacts, such as heading a throw in versus a corner kick. As a former athlete and avid sports fan, I am thrilled to be part of project, as it allows me to combine my love of sports with my desire to apply my engineering studies to improve the quality of life of those around me.

Douglas Diehl

doug

Major: Chemical and Biological Engineering
Year: 2018

Douglas Diehl is a sophomore in Princeton’s Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) Department. Douglas is excited by science and technology, new research, and learning about companies and jobs. He is thinking about what program within the CBE department he will pursue and is especially interested in biotechnologies, energy and environmental technologies, and materials research.

Last summer, Douglas worked as an intern with Thomson Reuter’s sales team. He compiled and organized key data to develop strategic business leads for Reuter’s law firm sales executives. Furthermore, in his spare time, Douglas is an ESL instructor and enjoys writing. He published his first novel, Milos and Wakami, in November 2015.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:
Douglas has worked on two research projects. The first involved performing heat stress experiments on two similar species, Aiptasia pallida and Colt Coral. In this experiment, Douglas took aliquot samples of the species at different temperatures and used a hemacytometer to count the number of symbiotic algae. The purpose of the experiment was to produce data and begin to rationalize about why Aiptasia are more resistant to coral bleaching.

Another project Douglas worked on was with a team of researchers. The team investigated the effects of habitat fragmentation on a species of NYS threatened turtles. The project involved field work, conducting transect and quadrat analyses, as well as soil and vegetation analyses. However, another interesting branch of the project was the advocacy work, in which the team educated the local community and town in how to maintain mitigation practices and procedures.

Jonathan Lu

jon

Major: Computer Science
Certificate: Statistics & Machine Learning
Year: 2018

Jonathan Lu is an aspiring computational biologist, interested in applying data science to solve biomedical problems. For the past three summers, he has performed research on protein structures and cancer genomics. Through his research, Jonathan has gained an interest in machine learning, statistical methods, and high-performance computing. At school, he enjoys his math and physics classes, and the analytical tools that come with them. He is interested in understanding both the potential of STEM, and its limitations..

Jonathan’s background is in the university, which has a culture of small projects worked on by individuals. He wants to see how the companies in InnovTrip facilitate collaboration. He wants to see how scientists, engineers, and marketers work together, how companies connect innovation to application, and above all how companies anticipate what the public needs, and work to realize that vision.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:
Last summer in UChicago, I researched interacting mutations in cancer evolution. I loved it. First, I was learning every day, about everything from Monte Carlo Markov Chains to cancer phylogenies to modular programming frameworks. Second, I experienced the power of technology. By optimizing my code, I could run in five hours on a supercomputer what would have taken weeks on my MacBook. I also found machine learning a wonderful tool, as it can discover patterns in data too complex to analyze with the naked eye. Finally, I found applications. My project found several interacting mutations, which could inform new personalized cancer therapies. The learning, power, and application made that my most exciting project.

Monica Shi

monica

Major: Computer Science
Certificate: Finance
Year: 2018

Monica Shi is a sophomore at Princeton dabbling in computer science and economics. She directs HackPrinceton, a biannual 500+ person event, runs the Princeton Social Impact Competition, a $30K venture competition for student startups focused on social good, and blogs for the Huffington Post. Monica spent last semester sourcing technology companies for VC firm Anthos Capital and last summer visualizing data for Ampush, an adtech startup in the heart of San Francisco. This summer, she’ll be at Google making search more accessible for users on $30 smartphones in developing countries. More than anything, she’s passionate about using technology to democratize information and enact meaningful social change.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:
My freshman fall, I noticed something very disconcerting – female bathrooms, and only female bathrooms, had locks. As I ingrained myself into the Princeton community, the inconvenience of these locks grew. As did this nagging feeling of university-sanctioned sexism. So, I decided to, with the help of some friends, do something about it. I delved headfirst into iOS development and created GirlCode, an app that presents an intuitive way to search for female restroom codes on campus. The app triggered cross-campus and administrative reactions and was featured in USA Today, The Huffington Post, and NJ.com. GirlCode was unfortunately taken down by the administration last year, but we had a good run (read more @ http://bit.ly/1bmFkM2).

Nuss Visatemongkolchai

nuss

Major: Chemical and Biological Engineering
Certificate: Engineering & Management Systems
Year: 2018

Nuss Visatemongkolchai is a sophomore in the Chemical and Biological Engineering department. She’s also particularly interested in economics and combining computational tools with some human insight to make sense of seemingly meaningless data sets. In the past few months, Nuss has been excited to be a part of a group building a vaccine temperature monitoring circuit for Princeton’s EPICS: Engineering Projects In Community Service. She is also involved in Innovation and transforms cocoa beans into delicious chocolate bars on campus with the Institute of Chocolate Studies. Having worked in a hospital laboratory in Thailand, she is fascinated to see how technology today is automating processes traditionally performed by humans, and is looking forward to learn about how other industries are evolving through InnovTrip.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:
Storing and transporting vaccines can be tricky. They generally have a quite narrow operating temperature range, and the costs that incur when they are exposed to temperatures beyond such range is high. Preserving the temperature-controlled supply chain is thus crucial, but the journey can be long with multiple stops in between. When Princeton’s EPICS: Engineering Projects In Community Service began designing a solar-powered refrigerator, a subgroup was created to build a circuit that would monitor the temperature of vaccines. As a part of the group, I’ve worked on scaling up a simple prototype consisting of four temperature sensors connected to an Arduino. Attached to the circuit is also a small LCD shield, for which I’ve worked on designing and coding an interactive information display system. It’s been very gratifying, and we’re excited to carry out the plans we have for the upcoming semester.

Omar Mukadam

omar

Major: Computer Science
Certificate: Robotics and Intelligent Systems
Year: 2018

As an aspiring computer scientist with a background in engineering and biomedical sciences carrying a special zeal for high-tech entrepreneurship, Omar Mukadam looks to integrate his skills in computational science and programming with his passion for high-impact innovation to effect positive change and progress in this world. He studies computer science at Princeton University and has a specific interest in robotics and artificial intelligence. In his free time, he enjoys working on projects in autonomous vehicle engineering and robotics and reading about astrophysics, medicine, and entrepreneurship.

Omar’s deep passion for STEM is nourished through interacting with other remarkable individuals who are embarking on the same route as he is or have already done so and have gained valuable experience and insights along the way. Therefore, any opportunity to engage with and receive mentorship from those who are more experienced and well-versed in the STEM field is one of incredibly high value to him. Princeton Innovation’s InnovTrip is a perfect example of such an opportunity that will enable Omar to pursue just the kind of mentorship and guidance he seeks and needs from both professionals and fellow colleagues in STEM.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:
Last summer, I interned at UT Southwestern Medical Center as a computational biology research intern. I entered the program knowing practically nothing about MATLAB, Fortran, stochastic simulation, or microtubule dynamic instability. But by the tenth week, during what was one of the most exhilarating academic endeavors I have embarked upon, I somehow acquired the knowledge and competence in all of those skills. The hallmark of my experience was discovering a major flaw in an algorithm my lab had used for many years to process simulation data. I fixed the flaw by implementing a correct and much more efficient algorithm that proved to be indispensable in automating later stages of our project and practically enabling new research capabilities for our lab. This experience led me to gain a great amount of self confidence in my ability as a scientific programmer and appreciate the importance of efficient algorithms and the enormous power of integrating different sciences together to do spectacular things.

Jamie Cuffe

jamie

Intended Major: Computer Science or Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Certificates: Robotics and Intelligent Systems, Application of Computing and Finance
Year: 2019

Jamie Cuffe founded an app, called Resolution, that aims to integrate health data using an algorithm, being developed in partnership with Princeton graduate students and professors, to suggest the optimal activity for users to improve their current health given limited time. He previously worked at GlaxoSmithKline for nine months to tackle a customer protection issue. Jamie recently partnered with Venture for America to create Invent First, a dynamic lab dedicated to multidisciplinary innovation. Jamie has written a number of award-winning papers on aerospace and is a student consultant for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. At Princeton, Jamie is an active team member of Innovation Science, TEDx PrincetonU, Princeton Autonomous Vehicle Engineering, Princeton Entrepreneurship Club, Princeton Social Innovation and Engineers Without Borders. Next semester, Jamie is running a conference, called IgniteSTEM, to integrate hackathons and computer science into high schools by providing leading educators with a Hack-in-a-Box resource kit.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:
I founded a health app, called Resolution, that aims to integrate data from hardware, such as the Apple Watch, and software, such as dietary apps, to create future health performance metrics, graphs and suggestions. We aim to work alongside Princeton professors and graduate students to develop a powerful algorithm to suggest the optimal activity that users should pursue to improve their current health given limited time.

Whitney Huang

whitney

Intended Major: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Intended Certificate: Robotics and Intelligent Systems
Year: 2019

As a dedicated student of engineering and the sciences, Whitney Huang is passionate about finding new ways to improve society through revolutionary breakthroughs in research and technology. During high school, she held internships at Michael Graves and Associates, an architecture firm, and Mamigo Inc., a small tech company, where she acquired skills in design and web development. In the summer 2014, she attended the highly selective program, New Jersey Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology. where she gained hands-on experience with all aspects of engineering. She is currently an active member of the Princeton Science Innovation and Robotics clubs. On InnovTrip, Whitney looks forward to learning how industry has shaped our modern-day society and wants to discover what it takes to be successful. She hopes the trip will give her insight into future career options and the inspiration to make a positive impact on the world.

Tell us about your most exciting STEM-related project:

I worked on a project called the Smart Cane at the New Jersey Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology with a team of five people alongside mentors from Lockheed Martin. The cane is designed to aid the blind and visually impaired by implementing technology into the simple white cane that is currently in use. The Smart Cane uses an Arduino microcontroller, ultrasonic sensors, and vibrational motors to alert the user of nearby objects and their distances away from the user. For example, if the user is 10 feet away from an object, the handle will begin to vibrate gently. As the user approaches this object, the handle will vibrate with increasing intensity, warning users to find an alternate route and giving them greater awareness of their surroundings. Our team designed and built a successful working prototype of the Smart Cane, aiming to improve the lives of the blind and visually impaired.

Advertisements