UW undergraduate Krittika D’Silva
Krittika plans to graduate in June 2016 with a dual degree in bioengineering and computer engineering. The ambitious, award-wining undergraduate already has co-authored published research papers, presented her work at conferences and completed a summer internship in India with Microsoft Research. Her many awards include being named a 2014-’15 UW Levinson Emerging Scholar and a 2014-’15 UW Early Identification Program Presidential Scholar.
Born in India, Krittika and her family moved to Texas when she was 6, and then later to Vancouver, British Columbia. Krittika came to UW focused on doing research in bioengineering, particularly with Joan Sanders, professor of bioengineering. Her persistence helped secure a position in Dr. Sanders’ lab right away, designing devices to improve prosthetic limb socket fit and comfort.
“Dr. Sanders has high expectations for all of her students,” Krittika says. “I enjoyed working with her team because I was given individual responsibilities and encouraged to publish papers.” As a sophomore, she was the first author on a research paper published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International. She also attended a conference in Orlando, Fla., where she gave a 15-minute talk about the work. “I was nervous about presenting my work to an audience of prosthetists and orthotists, but I knew the research was relevant to their practice, and it was a great learning experience,” Krittika recalls.
Krittika worked in the Sanders lab for two and a half years, research that ultimately earned her a Top Student Researcher Award from the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists Northwest Chapter.
“I don’t know where I would be if it hadn’t been for Dr. Sanders’ support,” Krittika says.
She relished the software side of the work, and after an introductory class, decided to add a computer science degree. The summer after her sophomore year, she also began working with the late Gaetano Borriello, the Jerre D. Noe Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, as part of the Change group. The group researches ways that technology can improve the lives of people in developing countries and low-income regions.
“I really like that the work is focused on using technology to help those who need it. It’s very fulfilling work,” Krittika says.
Providing solutions at the point-of-care