A desire to increase her volunteer hours motivated Nupur Banerjee ’19 to apply for the VMware Achieve Scholarship, developed to inspire and support women pursuing a degree in computer science or computer engineering. Internships and work were making it difficult for Banerjee to spend as much time as she wished working on the community engagement activities she’s passionate about.
Now that she’s received the one-time $10,000 tuition award—VMware’s first Achieve Scholarship—she’ll be able to work less and volunteer more.
“Helping the community surrounding Harvey Mudd is something I find rewarding,” says Banerjee. “With the activities I undertake, I hope to be a role model to girls so that a professional life in technology seems more within reach for them.”
Banerjee says that some of her most rewarding experiences have come from community collaboration activities. For Science Bus (an HMC club), she was the group leader at an elementary school and served as vice president of Science Day, the club’s annual activity for local elementary school students. As the events coordinator for the Society of Women Engineers club, she helped organize its annual Women Engineers and Scientists of Tomorrow (WEST) Conference that brings over 200 female high school students to Harvey Mudd College for a day of workshops and encouragement.
Banerjee’s desire to be a mentor and role model is apparent on campus as well. She’s a tour guide for prospective students, a mentor in her dorm and a grader and tutor (grutor) in the Computer Science Department, where she is focusing on machine learning. She’s done research with computer science professor Timothy Tsai in the Music Information Retrieval Lab and, most recently, was an intern at Facebook, where she worked with the computer vision team to improve video classification using machine learning. She’s also interned at Google and Innovaspire.
“I’ve really enjoyed applying machine learning to different types of problems and seeing how we’re able to achieve accurate results even at a large scale. I’m excited to see how the field develops further and how we will be able to use machine learning to solve problems in many disciplines,” Banerjee says.
“Nupur embodies everything that VMware was looking for in the recipient of this scholarship,” says Courtney Manning, global intern project manager, university talent, at VMware. “She is intelligent, involved, dedicated and committed to being a leader and innovator as a woman in tech. Her impressive accomplishments in the classroom and in the community are what truly made her application shine.”