A Passion for STEM

A Passion for STEM


ALBANY, N.Y. (Aug. 15, 2019) – On her first day on the job at UAlbany this summer, Provost Carol Kim encouraged almost 60 girls from Albany and Schenectady to let nothing get in the way of their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


Kim reinforced the message of opportunity for women in STEM that the girls heard during a month-long science day camp they attended at UAlbany as part of the Girls Inc. Eureka! program, hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences. 


Mariya Zheleva with Girls Inc. Eureka interns 2019
Local high school students Suchi, Riane, Janele and Amina were part of the STEM-focused Eureka Girls Inc. camp this summer and interned with Computer Science faculty. Here they are with mentor, Dr. Mariya Zheleva.

Faculty from throughout the University also did their part to encourage these young women in their love for STEM. Computer Science assistant professors Mariya Zheleva, Amir Masoumzadeh, and Shaghayegh Sahebi took on four interns from the Girls Inc. Eureka! program for the month of July. Working with these faculty and their doctoral students gave local high school students Suchi, Riane, Janele and Amina hands-on experience with computer science research. 


Zheleva’s intern, Amina, was involved with her NSF funded rural emergency and preparedness project. Amina worked in the user interface of a smartphone application Zheleva’s team is developing, which facilitates information distribution in areas without wireless broadband. Amina also took part in measuring the energy consumption of the app.


Girls Inc. intern Eureka! working with computer scientists in lab
Doctoral student Karyn Doke and intern Amina measure the energy consumption of the app the team is developing, with Dr. Mariya Zheleva and master’s student Nachuan Chengwang observing.

Also helping to guide these young computer science researchers in the lab were Computer Science doctoral students Karyn Doke, Younes Karimi, and Mehrdad Mirzaei, and master’s student Nachuan Chengwang.


Other camp activities included a tour of a Mesonet weather facility and a visit to the University’s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center. The girls also explored the physics of dance through the ChoreoPhysics workshops put on by physicist Keith Earle and Ellen Sinopoli of the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company. The girls visited psychology labs, conducted electrical and computer engineering experiments, and tackled hands-on math and statistics problems. The camp concluded with a closing ceremony, in which Provost Kim spoke.


Photos by Brian Busher and Patrick Dodson