Graduate student in CSSE selected to attend CRA-WP women's conference

Published: Mar 2, 2023 8:00 AM

By Joe McAdory

Through her research, Prashamsa Pandey aims to introduce fundamental principles of computer science while integrating robotics and music into the rapidly growing field of technology, especially to children. Not only is she exploring new methods to reach this young audience through research, but she will soon share ideas and identify new ones with like-minded scholars.

Pandey, a fourth semester graduate student in computer science and software engineering, has been selected to attend the prestigious Computing Research Association (CRA)-Widening Participating (WP) Graduate Cohort for Women, April 20-22 in San Francisco.

There, attendees can interact with roughly 20 senior female computing-related researchers and professionals, who will share pertinent information on graduate school survival skills and personal insights.

During the conference, I hope to connect with like-minded women engaged in similar research projects or potential colleagues who can offer valuable insights and expertise in my research interest,” said Pandey.

“As a woman in computing, I am excited to participate in this exceptional networking opportunity to engage with other professionals and gain valuable insights from their experiences. Considering the persistent gender gap in technology, it is crucial that we take advantage of opportunities like these to support and empower women in the field. I am thrilled to be part of this cohort and contribute to creating a more inclusive and diverse industry.”

Daniela Marghitu, CSSE faculty coordinator who directs the university’s Computer Science and Arts for All program through the Education and Assistive Technology Laboratory, is excited for Pandey, who volunteers within the program.

“Prashamsa is a very intelligent, hard-working young lady with great teamwork qualities and communication skills,” she said. “It is an honor for any female student to be invited to this CRA event where she will meet and learn a lot from outstanding faculty, students and representatives of some of the largest computing companies.”

Pandey’s desire to reach children is rooted in her own childhood.

“My father always wanted me to be an engineer, but I was so hesitant,” she said. “During my journey as a woman in engineering, I questioned whether I could compete in a world where men have historically dominated the field. I realized that my doubt stemmed from internalized stereotypes rather than external barriers. Instead of feeling empowered by my unique perspective, I initially felt overwhelmed by the perceived strength of my male counterparts. However, through self-reflection, I've realized that my gender does not determine my abilities, and I'm excited to bring my diverse experiences and insights to the table.”

Four semesters at Auburn allowed Pandey to grow personally and as a scholar.

“Before I began graduate school at Auburn, I was very shy and introverted,” she said. “However, since then, I have created a valuable network here in Auburn and developed a strong sense of community. Working as a graduate research assistant under my professor Dr. Marghitu, I have had the opportunity to enhance my research skills and make significant academic progress. I am also proud to be a part of Military REACH at Auburn University, where I work as a web developer. Collaborating with high-performing researchers and colleagues to mobilize military family research through the web platform has not only improved my interpersonal skills but also helped me advance my career as a web developer. Furthermore, I have volunteered for various programs and organizations for women engineers, which have helped me enhance my skills in different ways.

“At Auburn, I have had the opportunity to grow significantly in my research pursuits. It has been a rewarding experience to work on research for introducing computer science to children, which is something that is close to my heart. With the unwavering support of my advisor, Dr. Marghitu, we organized the Computer Science and Arts for ALL camp this spring dedicated to K-5 children, which has been a fulfilling experience. I am grateful for the chance to contribute positively to the community through this initiative. Additionally, I have had to step out of my comfort zone by delivering presentations to large audiences, which helped me boost my self-esteem and self-confidence. Overall, my time at Auburn has allowed me to grow substantially in various aspects of my life, personally and professionally.”

Media Contact: Joe McAdory,, 334.844.3447
Prashamsa Pandey's desire to develop children's computer science skills is rooted in her own childhood.

Prashamsa Pandey's desire to develop children's computer science skills is rooted in her own childhood.

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