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Christina Zhang

1405

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

Bio

As a computer science student, I wish to propel interdisciplinary collaboration between scientists, mathematicians, and artists. Additionally, my intellectual focuses transcend the classroom confines and translate to philanthropic work. I participate in addressing local to international challenges through interdisciplinary projects and educational initiatives. As a child to first generation immigrants, I wish to support the youth, underrepresented groups, and greater community. I hope to help others achieve self-determination and actualization.

Education

The University of Texas at San Antonio

Bachelor's degree program
2019 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Computer Science
  • Minors:
    • Mathematics
  • GPA:
    3.9

Clements H S

High School
2015 - 2019
  • GPA:
    4

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Computer Science
    • Computer Software and Media Applications
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Computer Software

    • Dream career goals:

      Software Developer

    • Infrastructure Support

      UTSA Institute of Research and Analysis
      2020 – Present4 years
    • Office Assistant

      UTSA Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition
      2019 – 20201 year

    Research

    • Mathematics and Computer Science

      Computational Soft Condensed Matter at UTSA — Undergraduate Researcher
      2020 – Present

    Arts

    • Student Art Society

      Visual Arts
      UTSA Exhibition
      2019 – Present

    Public services

    • Advocacy

      UN Millennium Fellowship — Fellow
      2021 – Present
    • Volunteering

      VOICES — Volunteer/Welcome Ambassador
      2020 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Youth Expanding Services/Habitats for Humanity — Volunteer
      2015 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Bold Technology Matters Scholarship
    The technology that has most significantly influenced my passion for software engineering and art is the new Google Arts & Culture app. A platform that provides the public access to view images from over 2000 archives, galleries and museums, a multitude of features is incorporated. The Virtual Gallery Tour allows users to "walk through" galleries of affiliated organizations, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Palace of Versailles in France, and Museo Reina Sofia in Spain. On the Experiments tab, a user may navigate to "Chauvet: The Dawn of Art'', an intricately-designed virtual reality experience that guides visitors through the Chauvet Cave in Ardèche, France. The experience enables up-close examination of the impressive Horses Fresco and fascination of drawings seemingly coming to life, an insightful vessel for grasping the emergence of human creativity. POEMPORTRAITS, an experiment centered on the boundaries of artificial intelligence and human collaboration, prompts participants to add one word of their choice to a unique collective poem, composed by an algorithm that merges user-inputs with 19th century poetry. Educational tools and resources are available to academia, teachers, and students, such as videos, history timelines, and comparative teaching resources. From matching art styles and movements to finding hidden symbols within artworks, quizzes and activities parallel those found in museum programs and classrooms. By bringing the essence of the art world to the public, the initiative is a pivot point in the conveyance and documentation of history. Identifiable, beneficial effects include the increased access to art. Provided that an individual or collective has access to the internet and the minimal, necessary technology equipment, art is accessible to anyone and from anywhere. Educators and students may venture to museums across the world without the typical costs and location barriers; they may have remote dialogues with professionals in the field. Users from any economic sector or background may contribute content to the public assemblage of knowledge. Moreover, research and app statistics testify that there is a significant relationship between those who interact with the app and those who are inspired to take a real-time tour; revealing that computer-arbitrated communication present in digital mediums such as the Google Arts & Culture may support awareness of museums and other storehouses of knowledge. As a student who is profoundly interested in projects that fuse arts with machine intelligence, I am constantly exploring relevant technologies and their usage in creative applications. Pursuing an honors thesis, I wish to research computational modeling and machine learning. Applying to graduate school, I plan to research machine perception, exploring how machines may assist in our understanding of human nature and the environment. I am working toward joining Google’s Artists+Machine Intelligence program, contributing to the design of intelligent systems. I would prototype visions of the future into interactive experiences and pioneer progressive technologies for the next generation. As a student funding their tuition mainly through part-time work and being frugal, the Bold Technology Matters Scholarship would directly contribute toward my education and vision.
    Soo Joo Park Scholarship for Asian American Women
    Growing up in a first-generation Asian immigrant household, I felt an ever-present sense of despondency from what seemed like maladroit attempts at navigating my complex environment and identity. Since my parents are non-native English speaking immigrants, I had difficulties in conveying experiences. “Untranslatable” concepts seemed multitudinous. I avoided sensitive topics with my family and peers for fear of inadequately expressing the full weight. However, I realized that core values had always been “translated.” My parents’ survival in America necessitated incredible tenacity. Since immigrating in the 1980s, my parents have both been in the various working class occupations and have felt the effects of contentious socio-political climates in their daily lives. The spirit crystallized in their personal sacrifices and unrelenting pursuit to secure their children’s well-being while retaining their humility. After moving to San Antonio to attend school, hundreds of miles away from familiarity, I generated profound respect and admiration upon reflecting on their resilience. I am reminded to gain self-knowledge and use my abilities to help others. Moreover, being a university student offers a medium for sharing stories. On campus, I would – and will – call my parents everyday to excitedly announce even minor successes, cry about stressors, or warmly bid them good night. The realization of unconditional connection extended beyond my immediate family. I found a sense of belonging in my university's Honors College. I made lifelong friends in the community. I learned how to constructively engage with the world. I discovered personal strategies of transcending cultural, linguistic, and economic barriers. My most influential role model is my mother. Having spent her early life in oppressive socioeconomic conditions, she has recounted to me, on a few occasions (and only after I was mature enough to understand), her specific stories of struggle. She relayed to me how growing up she "knew" one word: "hungry." Being gifted a single egg for her birthdays was considered gracious. She remembers the time when her big sister filed into the bus that would send her to work on a farm, a choice made in order to bring in money for a starving family; she remembers chasing after the bus, wishing hopelessly for something that would stop her sister from leaving. Even confronted with extreme barriers, she was able to become the one among eight (and the only woman, no less) at her high school to pass the college entrance exam. Even after moving to America and sacrificing what would have been a fairly comfortable life, she never relinquished her passion for knowledge. Furthermore, her compassionate, diligent nature has undoubtedly molded my values. I truly believe she passed on to me the instinct and perseverance to pursue my academic degree and support the distribution of educational resources to others. In San Antonio, people living north and northwest of the downtown area possess higher economic prosperity and education outcomes; whereas, the effects of historical economic and racial segregation have cascaded in other areas. Concerned about the urban youth’s inaccessibility to learning and developmental resources, I am invested in strengthening the university-side process of addressing the achievement gap present in marginalized communities. During my leadership role as CEO of a technology entrepreneurship society, I was true to the goal of equipping students of all levels, majors, and backgrounds with networking and technical resources to expand their professional career. I discovered during this time that managing my entrepreneurial, social, and personal identities needed immense intercultural confidence and courage. In assuming the leadership role of an organization that had an overwhelmingly male-dominated member and leadership body, I experienced tension in asserting my leadership capabilities. Though stresses emerged, I was able to ultimately gain enrichment from newly constructed personal qualities. Now, I feel that I have successfully integrated some aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset in my daily life as an Asian American woman, such as self-initiative and determination. With ample evidence to highlight benefits of including arts programs in academia and disadvantaged communities, it is also my goal to increase academic, social, and civic success through arts programs. In January 2020, I founded Student Art Society, a student organization at my university. I and fellow students, bonded by an exceptional interest in the arts, developed a network for students seeking to enhance aesthetic appreciation and gain multicultural, intergenerational awareness. Meetings include scholarly discussions on history and culture as well as instructional workshops. Officers partnered with Bihl Haus Arts, a local nonprofit, to learn about cultural preservation, economic development through the arts, and art interventions for under-served adults. Student Art Society has since organized fundraisers, selling member-designed art stickers, with all profits donated to Bihl Haus Arts programs to promote wellness among veterans, under-served older adults, and underrepresented groups through engagement with the arts. We encourage students to engage with their neighborhood and local civic groups. Additionally, we promote students to investigate how scientific methodologies can inform approaches to art making, and we promote students in the sciences to engage with the curiosity they feel for their research through conceptual, expressive lenses of art. Now a United Nations Millennium Fellowship project, the organization is planning to expand engagement and develop new programming that is aligned with relevant Sustainable Development Goals centered around well-being, sustainability, and equitable education. As an Asian American woman, I know that togetherness is indispensable in enhancing the capacity of people and communities, and individuals of different languages, backgrounds, and beliefs can cooperate. I hope for young individuals to acknowledge both their own strengths and the strengths of others, not to debase them. I would support spaces for young people of all backgrounds to learn and believe in their ability to learn. It is where the inspiration for cross-disciplinary engagement is instantiated; artists, engineers, scientists, and mathematicians are able to collaborate on impactful projects. As a student funding their tuition mainly through part-time work and being frugal, the Soo Joo Park Scholarship would directly contribute toward my education and help me invest in resources for my community.