Vodafone Celebrates International Women’s Week

This week mark’s International Women’s Week, a global week to celebrate the economic, political, and social achievements of women. It’s a time to understand the road that women have traveled to try to gain equality rights throughout the world, but it is also a time to discuss the fact that there is still work to be done. In fact, the World Economic Forum predicts that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133.

Vodafone Americas is committed to helping close the gender gap and is working with the Vodafone Americas Foundation to celebrate women across the country. This week, there will be a number of initiatives for Vodafone employees to get involved to discuss and focus on women’s equality.


A Mobile Health Kit to Detect Pulmonary Disease

My advisor, Dr. Rich Fletcher, and I began our investigation of pulmonary diseases last fall. We learned that these diseases are significant causes of morbidity and mortality and the burden is mostly focused on the developing world. However, the standard techniques for diagnosing these diseases require expensive machines and well-trained technicians, both of which can be lacking in resource-poor settings. As a result, patients are misdiagnosed and do not receive the treatment they need. Rich and I realized that if we combined our skillsets (Dr. Fletcher is an expert in developing low-cost sensors that interface with mobile phones and I am a machine learning researcher interested in developing diagnostic tools), we could develop an inexpensive, portable diagnostic tool kit that could help doctors and health workers provide more accurate diagnoses of pulmonary diseases. More

Nerves and the Finalist WIP Presentation Day

Shortly after submitting our initial application for the WIP, I was called off to India to repair one of our waste water treatment systems that we had been field testing for a year in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation Park in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. My WIP teammate Clement Cid had made many such trips as well. This time, a pump was not working and because logistics and training are complicated and expensive in the developing world, it was not getting fixed. This is exactly the problem that I had written about in our WIP application, and exactly the reason why I was days late in responding to June Sugiyama the director of the Foundation’s email notifying us that we had been selected as finalists! More