Class of 2012
Anjali Datta graduated with highest honors from UT in May, earning degrees in Plan II Honors and Electrical and Computer engineering. A precocious student, Anjali determined as a middle school student that she wanted to become an engineer. She graduated early from Grapevine High School in Grapevine, Texas, as the school's first three-year valedictorian, and received a perfect ACT score. Anjali chose to come to UT Austin because of its Plan II honors program; she wanted the opportunity to improve her writing and creativity skills to add depth to her research.
At UT, Anjali discovered an interest in diagnostic imaging while working on the Glaucoma Project led by Dr. Grady Rylander in the Biomedical Engineering Department. The Project, in concert with the Eye Institute of Austin, is actively working to develop technology to help detect glaucoma far earlier than we can today. In dedicating her research to making improvements in diagnostic technology, Anjali says she hopes she can prevent life-threatening diseases before it's too late. In 2010, she received a Barry M. Goldwater Honorable Mention and continued to impress her professors and research partners.
Outside of research, Anjali represented the US in the 2010 World Youth Chess Championships in Greece. She served as vice president of the Engineering Honors Council and Eta Kappa Nu (the Electrical Engineering Honors Society). She devoted her time as mentor and tutor in the Women in Engineering and Equal Opportunity in Engineering programs at UT. Anjali's enjoyment of mentoring and teaching students as an undergraduate has inspired her to become an educator.
In 2012, Anjali was awarded a $250,000 Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellowship - she was one of only 15 students (out of a 600-applicant pool) to receive the Hertz fellowship. She was also awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, which will provide her with an annual stipend of $30,000 as well as full tuition costs, medical insurance coverage, and prominent research opportunities. Anjali will pursue a PhD in Electrical engineering at Stanford University. She plans to continue her research there on diagnostic imaging. Her career goal is to become a biomedical researcher and professor.