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Mary Liu is attracted by data’s ability to save lives

Mary Liu

Mary Liu did so poorly in her first programming class that she considered switching her major. But then she joined the local Association for Computing Machinery–Women Chapter. “I met so many supportive women who convinced me to stay,” says Liu, a senior data science major who, after serving as the ACM-W chapter president and treasurer, is currently the group’s community service officer.

For the past three years, the winner of the 2020 CIS Outstanding Student Leadership Award has taught STEM topics and mentored middle school girls as the lead tech instructor for the nonprofit TechGirlz program. During the summer of 2018, Liu worked for Temple University Hospital’s Neural Engineering Data Consortium, collecting seizure data to help develop a software model that could predict when a patient might have another seizure.

Last year Liu was a technology summer analyst for Bank of America, where her sister, Sandra Liu, CST ’18 is an information security consultant. Following her graduation, she will be working for BofA’s global information security division—where she interned.

Liu relishes the opportunity to use data science for positive social impact. For example, BofA has a program that analyzes hotel room rentals and large money exchanges in order to identify human traffickers and report them to law enforcement authorities. “I hope to have the chance to do something similar,” she says. “I think it’s so cool how data can save lives.”