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#CodeLikeAGirl Scholarship Winner: Larissa Perara

#CodeLikeAGirl Scholarship Winner: Larissa Perara

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Larissa Perara is not your typical Computer Science major. In fact, she didn’t find Computer Science until she entered college. Now, she's currently a junior in Computer Science at Virginia Tech and has worked at Lockheed Martin and IBM on embedded software and cloud systems. However, outside of her studies, her hobbies include being outdoors, practicing yoga, and traveling! Her next adventure will be studying at the University of Technology Sydney for this upcoming spring semester.



So, what app do you want to create? Why do you think it's important?

The “hospice app” would allow for real-time updated information on a loved one under hospice care, equipped with push notifications when the loved one is in a critical state. Additionally, this app could access data from health applications such as “My Fitness App” or the health app built in. All of these apps hold data and history of the user’s behavior. Using monitoring algorithms, the application could suggest a number to call if the user exhibits behaviors that could be linked to depression or grief.

For example, I walk about 6 miles a day, log all 3 meals per day, and usually participate in 6 AM morning yoga. After the passing of my grandmother, I didn’t show up to work until 11 AM, I hadn’t eaten since the night before, and yoga hadn’t happened. This application would notice my behavior and suggest a number for me to call or a location near by for support. This app would revolutionize the way families go through the passing of loved ones. No matter how far away an individual is from their family during this time, they would have the information and support to get through this difficult time.


What’s missing in the healthcare industry that your app would address?

This app addresses the technology communication gap of the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry uses technology to help their patients when they are in physical care, but there is a huge gap at the “at home” assistance that technology can provide for the healthcare industry. This app specifically allows close friends and family assistance during the last day’s of a loved one life. It not only would allow for updates of the loved one’s status, but using the health apps downloaded on the individuals phone to suggest counseling if atypical behavior patterns are displayed.



What's your favorite app that some people may not know about?

My favorite unconventional app is Duolingo. I find learning new languages fascinating and fun. This app make it fun and almost a competition between you and you friends. Additionally, I love using this app for getting a familiarity with the language before I travel to a country, or just for the fun of learning different words in a new language.


Leap Motion

image via leapmotion.com

What's your favorite gadget?

My favorite gadget is the “Leap Motion”. This is a device that allows for control of the computer using the leap motion pad without physical contact. Although I do not own one, I believe it is a fantastic stepping stone to designing non-touch computer navigation.


image via Daily Times Gazette

My female model in the tech industry in Ruth Porat. She has simultaneously become one of the most powerful women in the tech industry, while having a family. I love that she doesn’t believe in putting family life on hold for your career. This is a decision and concept that I personally struggle with on how to make time for relationships in general. Additionally, from personal stories, she is a fighter, and despite hiccups along the way, she is now the CFO of Google. The thing that inspires me most, is that when most people would say choose one or the other, she picks both.


So, are you feeling inspired and ready to take on the tech world?! Share this article with your friends!

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