inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Yasmine Kotturi

I am always busy, which is perhaps the chief reason why I am always well.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
@ykotturi

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Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I started getting into the computer science world towards the end of my undergraduate career, when I took a class on Human-Computer Interaction taught by Professor Scott Klemmer at UC San Diego. At the time, I was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in cognitive science and I was drawn to the intersection of computer science and cognitive science. This thus prompted me to apply to stay at UC San Diego to develop my technical skills with a master’s degree in computer science and engineering. As the Vice President of Graduate Women in Computing, I think one of most important factors of encouraging diversity in computing is to mentor and support undergraduate (or younger) women in computing. This is especially important as women tend to get into CS later than men, at which point they may feel a slightly behind. But I think, as my story shows, it’s never too late to pursue a career in tech.
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Favorite website / app:
Noisli! I was sitting in the CSE basement and heard birds chirping close by.. (wait, what ?!) Turns out my neighbor was blasting the forrest noise in Noisli and was fully immersed in nature. I’ve been hooked ever since. My favorite combo is fire crackling and birds chirping

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
My mom! She has always encouraged creativity — lots of painting, cooking, experimenting, play. This has been an important skill that has carried me far as it enables me to approach a problem or question from multiple perspectives.
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Song that makes you want to dance:
Of course, a Tswift song: Shake it Off

Ideal Job:
An ideal job is one that would enable me to apply both my background in human factors and tech, thus a job in human-computer interaction. One awesome thing about this field is that it is very interdisciplinary, so there is a large spectrum of backgrounds and people involved — this makes for a lot of learning  and growth opportunities.
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What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
*Actively* seek out people who inspire you — when you attend talks, ask questions. When you are interested in an instructor’s work, ask if they have research/collaboration opportunities. Go to office hours and share your thoughts. Essentially, no matter what stage you’re at, take the initiative to get your hands on cool work so that you can thrive.
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