Aashna Shroff

In 2015, Stanford University accepted just 5% of applicants, fortifying its 125-year history as one of the best colleges in the nation.

With esteemed alumni who include the founders of Snapchat, Google, Instagram, and Netflix, the Silicon Valley feeder school is a breeding ground for top talent.

We’ve tracked down 12 of the school’s most impressive students to check out what America’s next generation of inventors, innovators, advocates, coders, engineers, and leaders are up to.

Scroll through to meet some of Stanford’s incredibly impressive students.

NOW CHECK OUT: 15 impressive students at MIT

Aashna Mago is a virtual-reality aficionado who’s interning at Oculus this summer.

Class of 2017

Major: computer science

By the time she entered her freshman year at Stanford, Aashna Mago was a budding molecular biologist who’d spent several years doing research in cancer treatments at Princeton. But Mago had a change of heart when she got to Stanford and set out to learn about programming and technology and teach herself how to code.

She landed a summer internship with virtual-reality expert Mark Bolas in the Mixed Reality Lab at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies, where she honed skills in programming, 3D modeling and printing, and design.

Halfway through her sophomore year, Mago took a leave of absence from Stanford to accept a full-time position at Rothenberg Ventures, where she helped launch an in-house production studio and run the first batch of River, the world’s first VR/AR accelerator.

Since returning to campus last fall, Mago has earned a Women in VR scholarship from Oculus and VR Girls; cohosted a large-scale Women in VR event in San Francisco to encourage women from diverse industries to get involved in VR; and founded Rabbit Hole VRa group at Stanford focused on bringing more diversity to the VR community through innovative storytelling. This summer, she’ll be a software engineer at Facebook-owned Oculus.

Aashna Shroff founded a coding camp for girls in India.

Class of 2017

Major: computer science 

Growing up in India, Aashna Shroff was one of two girls in her high-school computer-science class. When she arrived at Stanford, Shrof was impressed by the initiatives to get women involved in computing fields, so she decided to take those ideas back to India by founding Girls Code Camp (GCC).

Last summer, Shroff led the GCC team of Stanford students to India to teach computer-science workshops to more than 500 middle- and high-school girls. The subsequent “GCC Hack Day” produced projects ranging from medical-emergency apps to educational games.

Shroff is also championing gender diversity on campus. This quarter, she’ll be doing research with Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research to help detect unconscious bias in job descriptions. And she’s a mentor for Girls Teaching Girls To Code, a program that teaches Bay Area high-school girls how to code.

Shroff also contributed to research at Stanford’s Bio-Robotics lab on a project that allows surgeons to practice brain surgery on virtual patients. She used cutting-edge technology to create a program where sights, sounds, and forces of the virtual surgery replicate that of the operating room.

Brandon Hill is the student body vice president and a former White House intern.

Class of 2016

Major: political science, African/African-American studies 

The summer before he was set to start at Stanford, Brandon Hill was de-accepted by the university for a bad grade in physics. He decided to take a year off — something he later dubbed “Year On” during a TEDx talk — to travel more than 30,000 miles across the world on a full scholarship through Semester at Sea.

He made it to Stanford and is now vice president of the school’s more than 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students. 

Hill is passionate about helping youths of color maximize their creative potential through his startup, Enza Academy. Over the last two years, Enza has trained more than 150 kids nationwide at its innovation, tech, and entrepreneurship “hack-camps,” which have been sponsored by Google, Stanford, Columbia University, and Facebook. Last December, Hill and his cofounder spoke about Enza Academy at the White House, where Hill interned the summer after his freshman year at Stanford.

He’s also interned at Google on the YouTube star-management team, at UNICEF in Tanzania, and for the US Department of Education. When he graduates in June, Hill plans to work full-time on his “TED meets Twitter” idea-sharing platform.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider