It is a dream come true for Spandana Raj Babbula, a Warangal native and a fifth-year dual degree computer science and engineering student at IIT-Madras, who has won the prestigious Google Anita Borg memorial scholarship (Asia Pacific) and Facebook’s 2014 Grace Hopper scholarship.
The Google Anita Borg memorial scholarship (Asia Pacific) is given to women for excellence in computer science, leadership and passion for technology. The scholarship has been instituted after Dr Anita Borg, who founded the Systers online community in 1987, well before the concept of an online community was part of the mainstream.
A group of women undergraduate and postgraduate students are chosen from the applicant pool, and scholarships are awarded based on the strength of each candidate’s academic background and demonstrated leadership.
As a part of Google Anita Borg memorial scholarship (Asia Pacific), Ms Babbula has received a financial award of Rs 1 lakh for this academic year. She recently returned from Tokyo after attending the scholars’ retreat at Google’s Tokyo office.
Ms Babbula will next fly to Phoenix in Arizona, USA, to attend the Grace Hopper celebration of women in computing, one of the world’s largest gathering of women technologists from October 6 to 11, as part of Facebook?s scholarship.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Ms Babbula said that her research project on efficient routing in wide area networks, done as part of an internship at Microsoft Research, USA, and a project she did at the IIT “analysis of hypergraph” had fetched her the scholarships. “It was an inspiration to meet legends of the computer science field and interact with fellow scholars from across eight countries,” she said. About her future plans, she says that she will utilise the Google scholarship for her research.