Apple selects Indian-origin teenager for WWDC 2021 after coding challenge


With just a week to go for WWDC — Apple’s annual developer conference — the tech giant has announced select students from 35 countries who will be a part of the conference. Among the 350 Swift Student Challenge Winners, is Abinaya Dinesh, a 15-year-old of Indian origin. Apple announced the winners in a newsroom post on its website.
As per the post, Abinaya Dinesh, “is passionate about the intersection of medicine and technology”. Dinesh said that she went to a gastroenterologist, who diagnosed her with a pelvic floor disorder “but then told me nothing about how I was supposed to get better.”
A resident of North Brunswick, New Jersey, Dinesh created an app called Gastro at Home, which she plans to launch on the App Store this summer. The app offers people with gastrointestinal disorders a way to access information and resources, especially because those types of conditions can sometimes be sensitive to talk about.
She also has her own non-profit organisation called Impact AI, which aims to foster learning and ethical practices in artificial intelligence among young people. As part of it, she launched an eight-week high school program, called Girls in AI, to teach young women the basics of programming and machine learning.
“I’m super big on teaching,” said Dinesh. “Showing the next generation that this technology exists and can lead to huge advancements in medicine and society is so important. And I’m proud that after the program was over, there were seniors applying to college who told me this experience changed what their major was going to be.”
She plans to attend medical school or get a degree in computer science once she graduates high school. “I think it’s important that we keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible,” said Dinesh, “because nobody is going to do it for us.”
Dinesh was selected as part of Apple’s annual WWDC student challenge, where competitors demonstrated their coding and problem-solving skills by submitting an original Swift playground to earn a spot.

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