A class of 2022 student and a Senior at Dubai International Academy, Sameekshaa "Sasha" Prabhu, a native of Bengaluru, India, spent her childhood in China before moving to Dubai. With a passion for Math, Science and Technology, the 16-year-old enjoys "coding, digital technology and exploring the latest gadgets". She developed an app for her school to digitise the entry/exit of students during exams- a development that could help replace the wasteful practice of issuing paper exit slips.

Keen to pursue her passion, she plans to pursue digital technology hoping to, among other things, magnify the impact of this app to mitigate deforestation.

When not at her computer, she likes to "critically analyse everything around me, particularly of movies and TV shows, playing the violin and listening to alternative music". Playing with her dog Leo is her stress buster.

Excerpts from an interview:

When did you get interested in coding?

From watching hackers skim through lines of code in spy movies to physically reviewing source code myself, with no real understanding of it, I was mesmerized by the way in which numbers and simple commands were translated into smooth actions.

As I ventured more into this field, I found the perfect opportunity to not only learn code, but to also apply what I learnt: my e-portfolio.

The myriad potential ideas that I could anchor my project upon collectively had the same bottom line: I needed to know basic code.

Thus, I began my coding journey over the summer before my sophomore year.

Tell us about the app you created at school for entry/exit of students.

DIAccess strives to reduce paper usage during attendance and entry/exit of students during exam week. It also digitises the entry/exit of students into schools and enables parents to monitor the students’ exit from school. There are a plethora of features incorporated into the app, such as obtaining and scanning of QR codes acting as entry/exit passes and monitoring attendance.

I have also designed a website to promote environmental conservation efforts, which won second runner up in the Young Programmers Challenge UAE 2020. I hope to expand my portfolio soon.

What is your dream career?

My interests intersect biology, chemistry, math, and coding, my dream career lies in biomedical engineering. Specifically, I am fascinated by the use of artificial neural networks and algorithms to analyse impact of genetic mutations.

How do you hope to use digitech to make a difference in the world?

I would like to use it as an enabler for further research and study in my core area of interest – biomedical engineering. I would like to extensively study about application of artificial intelligence in biomedical engineering and informatics especially associated with disease treatment.

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Anand Raj OK

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