The Impact Labs Fellowship
In the start of January 2020, I had the pleasure and the fortunate of being selected and participating in the Impact Labs Fellowship as a 2020 Fellow. This fellowship is a two-week-long software engineering and social entrepreneurship bootcamp hosted in New York City. I was joined by approximately 45 other individuals from diverse backgroundd, all with shared computer science experience and a desire for our work to contribute to the social good.
It was a great experience in many ways. First, I was able to meet and network with many like-minded individuals from across North America with difference life experiences and perspectives. We connected with speakers and leaders from NGOs, social startups, think tanks, and philanthropic organizations. My personal favorite speakers included:
- Rich Harris, a grpahics editor on the NYTimes investigative team whose articles I had read and enjoyed immensely.
- Julie Samuels, the exectutive director of Tech:NYC which represents New York’s high-tech industry with government, civic institutions, in business and public policy forums, and with the media.
- Sam Lavigne, an artist and educator who creates software project commentaries on data, surveillance, and various technologies. He has some interesting courses online which I am inspired to check out.
In additon to these opportunities, numerous individuals came to teach courses on advanced software engineering and web development methods and ideas including D3, React, Kubernetes/Docker, PyTorch, and cyber secure development protocols.
This all concluded with a final project. Working in a team of four, my group created a webapp prototype to targeting the problem of the extinction of unwritten languages. I built an interactive webapp frontend as well as backend in React, and constructing a PostgreSQL database to store auditory recordings and information about words from unwritten languages. This information I vizualized on an interactive world map using Leaflet.