Savitha Srinivasan, a recent graduate from Interlake High School, is the epitome of what one would envision in a STEAMnist (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). Prior to starting high school, Savitha took a computational biology summer course which introduced her to cutting-edge solutions in biomedicine and the endless possibilities that computer science and biology hold. This course sparked her interest in innovating computer science/artificial intelligence healthcare solutions in precision medicine, which led her to conduct extensive machine learning research to develop patient-specific cures for certain diseases based on their individual genomes.
Additionally, Savitha is an avid artist. For more than twelve years, Savitha has been learning Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam, and Indian vocal/violin compositions. Her realization of the perceived gap between “mainstream” art forms & “classical” art forms led her to co-found a global nonprofit organization, Art You (@artyou2015, www.art-you.org) to raise awareness and appreciation of diverse art forms. Art You’s impact on the community is extraordinary with over sixty arts educational outreach sessions and an annual showcase of youth artists in over thirteen artistic disciplines.
As a computer science researcher and dancer, Savitha seeks to harness the power of tech and art to redefine our world. When presenting her research on machine learning models for diagnosing melanoma at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF), Savitha was dismayed to see only a couple of girls in her row of seventy-plus software category participants. Instead of feeling included, Savitha felt distant; this observation of educational disparity in STEAM led her to found She Codes Art (@shecodesart, www.shecodesart.org) in 2017. The unique art-based curriculum of She Codes Art empowers girls and underrepresented minorities to realize the creative possibilities of computer science. Thus far, She Codes Art has partnered with organizations like Microsoft and Jubilee Reach and hosted sixty-plus educational outreach sessions, impacted one thousand plus under-resourced youth, held five free full-day conferences/workshops in cutting-edge tech fields (i.e., mobile app development, human-centered design, web design, machine learning, etc.), developed eight art+tech curriculum modules, and established six chapters across US/Africa. During the COVID-19 pandemic, She Codes Art has conducted four virtual webinars, connecting over fifty-five girls from ten different states.
Savitha’s accolades are phenomenal. She has worked on developing machine learning techniques to improve cancer blockade therapy at the Harvard Medical School as a 2019 Research Science Institute Scholar. Additionally, she is a 2020 Coca-Cola Scholar, 2020 Regeneron STS Scholar, and Intel ISEF 2nd Place winner. It is without a doubt that Savitha will continue to inspire young girls to explore the intersection of STEM and art. In the Fall of 2020, Savitha will be attending Stanford University and hopes to grow her skills by developing low-cost technological solutions to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for millions of people.
You can follow Savitha on Instagram @codeancer or on Facebook @Savitha Srini