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CS student Amanda Sopkin awarded Google Scholarship

7/21/2016 9:28:00 AM Mike Koon, ENGINEERING AT ILLINOIS

Amanda Sopkin, a senior in computer science, has been awarded a Google Generation Scholarship for University Students. Sopkin is one of only 15 recipients from across the United States to earn the award, which is given to students from underrepresented backgrounds in computer science.

In addition to the financial award, Sopkin traveled to Google headquarters this summer for the Google Scholarship Retreat.

Amanda Sopkin has had three corporate internships, including one at Intel, where she tested gesture recognition functionality with a robotic arm.
Amanda Sopkin has had three corporate internships, including one at Intel, where she tested gesture recognition functionality with a robotic arm.
Amanda Sopkin has had three corporate internships, including one at Intel, where she tested gesture recognition functionality with a robotic arm.

 

“The retreat was honestly such an inspiring experience overall with talks and 1-on-1 career development sessions with Google engineers,” said Sopkin, the eldest of six children from Denver. “It was beneficial in helping us come up with career milestones.”

Two years ago, Sopkin and fellow CS student Dana Chambourova began work on Babu, an app that can scan sales receipts and organize them electronically, eliminating the need for paper receipts entirely. Babu was named the best undergraduate team at the 2014 Cozad New Venture Challenge.

Sopkin is completing a summer internship at Zillow after internship experiences at both Intel and Sandia National Labs the past two summers.  She is a past regent for the Kappa Theta Tau professional engineering fraternity and is the current president of the University of Illinois’ chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Sopkin traveled to Ntisaw, Cameroon, as part of EWB to assess a water system that serves 10,000 people.

As part of her leadership with registered student organizations, Sopkin developed a web app that will help Illinois RSOs manage membership services such as email lists and calendars, keep track of attendance at events, and record dues paid.

 “The app will make it easier for students to get on and off email lists and to see what events are coming up,” explained Sopkin.

In 2015, Sopkin has named the Box Engineering Grand Scholar, was one of 70 students selected for the 2015 Google BOLD program, and the recipient of the Outstanding Society Member for Engineers Without Borders.