Rochester Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Science - 2016
2015 USRA Scholarship Winner
Growing up in upstate New York, Elizabeth Bondi was always fascinated by the night sky. Her favorite field trips were to the Strasenburgh Planetarium in Rochester, New York. When she enrolled in the imaging science program at Rochester Institute of Technology, she had the opportunity to work on a range of projects in both astronomy and other fields, in which she would have "ample opportunities and be able to make a difference."
Working with one of her professors, she improved computer vision techniques as they are applied to ancient manuscripts, including the Codex Vercellensis located in Vercelli, Italy. As an intern at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, she characterized landing sites for the InSight and Mars 2020 missions and also worked with a team testing the proposed Mars Helicopter Scout, which will be used to find a safe route for the rover. She says that these experiences have helped to shape her career, and she's planning on pursing a PhD in computer science, focusing on computer vision and machine learning. At RIT, Elizabeth has been active in a number of clubs and programs, including the Imaging Science Club, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and the 2015 RIT Women in Computing Hackathon (for which she and her team won "Most Novel Hack"). She has been a teaching assistant for the Image Processing and Computer Vision class at RIT.
For students applying for scholarships, she recommends choosing as references advisers for research projects on which you have worked, and with whom you had a least some personal connection. Also, have your advisers read your application, as "a second set of eyes with more experience writing is always beneficial."