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A image of me with my WISP teammates, mentors, and Professor Lorie Loeb at the 2023 Winter Technigala.

In my 'What excites you?' writing supplement that I submitted to Dartmouth, I wrote about slime—the satisfying, colorful ones that we all tried making with borax back in middle school. This lengthy narration, which prefaces my interest in chemistry, leads to my anticipation of research opportunities for undergraduate students such as the Women in Science Project (WISP). Well, only a year after an admissions officer read that essay (I'm an Early Decision applicant), I received an email congratulating me on my WISP internship award!

I mentioned how I was in awe of chemistry when I applied to Dartmouth. However, to no one's surprise, there has been a slight change of plans. During my freshman fall class selection, I decided to take advantage of Dartmouth's liberal arts program and take an introductory computer science course. It turned out to be my favorite class of the term, and it heavily influenced which WISP projects I applied to. Hence, I was so thrilled to hear that I would work as a WISP intern with Professor Lorie Loeb in the Computer Science department during my winter and spring semesters.

A picture of a cupcake with rainbow sprinkles.
Unrelated but this made me so happy this week.

The title of our research project is 'DALI Lab Mobile App Design and Development.' This basically translates to working with three other undergraduate students to design and develop a mobile application for Dartmouth students using DALI (Digital Applied Learning and Innovation) Lab's resources. The coolest part of this research experience is the freedom to create any mobile application we want! This challenging decision was completed at the beginning of the winter term after weeks of user research, and we concluded with a thrifting app for Dartmouth students. Though the task was tedious, we have upperclassman mentors that are always available to assist and give detailed bits of advice. At the end of the winter term, our team finalized the designs and produced a working prototype on Figma. We even presented it at the 2023 Winter Technigala—a quarterly showcase for innovative DALI and Computer Science projects—and received great feedback on our idea!

Since the start of the spring term, we have been working on the more technical aspects of the project. Due to my unfamiliarity with React Native, I've been repetitively studying this coding language to develop the home page of our application. It is not an easy challenge. The experiences of Slacking (sending a message through Slack) my mentor at 12 AM about the different git branches and Googling how to align an image with its caption is something else. Nonetheless, I'm having so much fun! I can't wait to present our final product at this term's Technigala and hopefully see Dartmouth students using our thrifting app (this process requires much more work).

A picture of my laptop propped open to a coding page.
Featuring my code (and my dirty laptop) and my stash of Easter chocolates.

Before coming to Dartmouth, I never would've thought about this opportunity. Dartmouth's liberal arts curriculum encouraged me (and still does) to explore a variety of subjects, some of which were unfamiliar to me as a fresh high school graduate. This has led to unexpected discoveries, like my newfound passion, and ultimately, this rewarding research experience.

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