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Disha Kohli

Shivani Goyal

Coppell High School senior Shivani Goyal is an app-developing, math-loving and dedicated soon-to-be University of Illinois freshman. As a native Texan, Shivani has been looking forward to moving out for as long as she can remember. Her passion for Computer Science has led her down the path to becoming an entrepreneur. She has also created an app by the name of Pollen.

What made you interested in Computer Science?

I was introduced to it at a young age because my dad also does computer science. He used to make me do these coding websites where you get to build and solve these little puzzles. Math is also my favorite subject, and there is a lot of math involved in computer science.

How did Computer Science affect your college application?

I had to talk a lot more about things that are related to computer science. I started developing this app for people that have allergies. It is like a weather prediction app but for allergies, so I wrote a lot about that. I think [the app] is what helped me get into my college.

Why did you create this app?

My sister has allergies and she is always having trouble when she goes out. She doesn’t know when she is going to have them. There are things online to help you but I wanted them all in one app where you can talk to other people that have them in the area. [The prediction] depends on the weather, the location, the altitude, the wind and other stuff. It calculates how bad your allergies are going to be. [The app] is still in development but it has been [in development for] a couple of months.

What about the University of Illinois attracted you?

They have a really good startup community there where you can build your own company; [Illinois] is very highly ranked, that was a big deal for me, and I like the Chicago area. They have a lot of opportunities for jobs.

How did you feel when you got accepted?

It was an amazing feeling. I was sitting in [Statistics] class when I opened [the acceptance letter] and I started running around the classroom screaming.

What are you career plans after college?

I want to get my MBA and after two years of working, I want to start my own business in AI. I am really interested in artificial intelligence, I think artificial intelligence will take over the world just as computer science did ten years ago.

What do you think are your biggest challenges?

Because [computer science] is really new, I will probably have to learn a lot more [coding] languages. Debugging is also incredibly hard. I am in AP Computer Science right now. Doing labs and working on [coding] is the only way to get over [my problems].

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