Where are you from?: I was born and raised in India and moved to the Bay Area in 2013.
School/grade/major/area of study: San Jose State University – MFA (Digital Media Art) National Institute of Fashion Technology, India – BFA (Fashion Design)
Why did you choose to intern with Microsoft?: I’m particularly drawn to Microsoft because of its commitment to make a positive impact on the world through innovative technologies, partnerships, digital design and community outreach. I believe in the same vision and am very excited to utilize my skillset to contribution towards this shared vision.
What projects are you working on for your position as a Tech Fellow for Microsoft Bay Area?: My main project right now is working with Code for San Jose to come up with exciting new projects to address local community needs via technology. We are looking to engage and educate the community about open data, smart cities, and open government. I’m also working with the Valley Transportation Authority to improve and solve the mobility challenges of the transit experience here in the Silicon Valley.
What excites you about civic tech?: I believe a problem isn’t successfully solved just by creating new innovative technologies, but by also effectively educating users about those innovations. Civic tech helps bridge this gap by educating and connecting community, government and nonprofits. It is exciting and satisfying to be able to work towards solving real-life problems in our own communities, and see ideas turned into reality that could make a difference in thousand, even millions, of lives.
What’s one problem you hope civic tech will solve for cities?: In the last decade, there’s been tremendous success in bringing information technology and mobile connectivity to under-served populations. However, education and social impact is limited to families who cannot gain access to these technologies. I hope that through the civic tech movement awareness and action is taken to address the technology divided in underdeveloped and developing nations.
What gets you excited about Digital Media Design?: As ubiquitous technology increasingly shapes our daily lives, an emphasis is placed on defining an effective design experience to meet consumer needs, intent and sensibilities. The recent surge of smarter, design oriented technologies like the HoloLens and 3D printing, is indicative of a trend that recognizes the importance of design to develop complex social and cultural dynamics. This intrigues and excites me, plus provides me with direction as I focus on my professional growth.