Shruti Verma

Shruti Verma is a rising freshman from San Diego, California. At Columbia Engineering, she plans to major in Computer Science, eventually pursuing the Intelligent Systems track.

Shruti’s interest in computer science began whilst peeking over her dad’s shoulder, watching him speak a foreign language consisting of numbers, parentheses, and semicolons. She wasn’t sure whether eight year old girls could learn the dialect, but by signing up for course after course, she began to try. Over the next nine years, Shruti explored as many aspects of the computing world as she could (software development, cybersecurity, digital forensics, and machine learning), participating in a variety of competitions in hopes of honing her skills. More than anything, though, Shruti has fallen in love with the prospect of pursuing interdisciplinary endeavors with computer science; she’s especially intrigued by interactions between computer science and biology and has partaken in multiple projects in order to study these interactions.

She explored biomimicry, for example, by training a computer to act as an intrusion prevention system that, using machine learning techniques, mimicked the body’s immune system. The summer after her 11th grade, she explored computational biology while working as a programmer at Scripps Research, where she helped build a computational approach to analyzing and even correcting proteomics data obtained through contaminant-prone wet lab techniques. Her software was used to construct a new, more accurate model of the insulin secretory granule.

Relationships aren’t always smooth sailing, though. As much as she loves computer science, Shruti takes problem with the lack of women in the field. In hopes of at least beginning to address the issue, she held her own summer camp (that introduced middle school girls to CS), spoke about the problem at conferences and in the media, and worked with both local and international organizations such as GirlUp.

Besides computer science, Shruti is a debater at heart and loves discussing politics. She also follows basketball (and plays it as well as any short person could). Last, but definitely not least, she has a deep seated love for The Office and is always willing to rewatch the show (for the 40th time) with a fellow fanatic.