AS FEATURED IN
I am a freshman at Columbia University with a passion for science, social entrepreneurship, and activism. I founded and lead Project32, a student-run social startup that leverages the power of education and community engagement to tackle dental disease in youth. Since its inception in 2016, Project32 has provided thousands of dental hygiene kits to children in the U.S., India, Guatemala, and Haiti. My research has focused on vascular disease and design of synthetic blood vessels.
In my free time, I love to play basketball, chess and watch (and compete in) Jeopardy! I competed in the 2019 Jeopardy Teen Tournament. After winning my quarterfinal, semifinal, and both rounds of the two-day final, I was crowned the Champion! In Fall 2019, I moved to New York to pursue an undergraduate degree at Columbia University’s School of Engineering as an Egleston Scholar. At Columbia, I am studying computer science with a specialization in artificial intelligence. After graduation, I hope to pursue further education with an emphasis on public policy. Last summer I interned at Intel and will head to IBM’s Watson Research Center in Summer 2020. Currently (April 2020) I am applying my software development skills to fight the COVID-19 pandemic as a founding member of LifeMech Inc., a non-profit organization developing a low-cost, rapidly scalable ventilator. Ultimately, I hope to apply the technical and nontechnical skills I will develop to bridge the gap between tech and government.
I studied cardiovascular disease pathophysiology and artificial blood vessel design in the Lindner and Hinds Labs at Oregon Health and Sciences University. My work in the Lindner Lab focused on novel imaging and image processing techniques to non-invasively quantify blood flow variability in patients with peripheral arterial disease. My work in the Hinds Lab focused on novel techniques for assessing the thrombogenicity of artificial blood vessels, with the ultimate goal of developing new, safer biomaterials for use in humans.
- A Gupta*, C.M. Johnston* et al. “Quantifying Physical Characteristics of Thrombus Formation on Cardiovascular Biomaterials using MicroCT.” Methods and Protocols. https://doi.org/10.3390/mps3020029 (April 2020)
- BP Davidson, A Gupta, JR Lindner et al. “Limb Perfusion During Exercise Assessed by Contrast Ultrasound Varies According to Symptom Severity in Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease”. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2019.05.001 (May 2019)
- DE Anderson, A Gupta, MT Hinds. “Correlating Thrombus Constituents of Surface-Modified Vascular Graft Materials to Luminal Volume using MicroCT to Better Quantify Clinical Functionality”. Oral presentation Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting (April 2019)
- A Gupta, DE Anderson, E Yim, MT Hinds. “Development of MicroCT Techniques for Quantifying Thrombus Formation on Cardiovascular Biomaterials”. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting (October 2018)
- DE Anderson, A Gupta, EK Yim, MT Hinds. “Assessing vascular graft technologies by correlating luminal volume to platelets using MicroCT”. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting (October 2018)
After winning the 2019 Jeopardy Teen Tournament, I was deeply saddened to hear of Mr. Trebek’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis. I began with a $10,314 donation (my nod to the mathematical constant Pi) from my winnings to the Knight Cancer Institute with an aim to end pancreatic cancer. My donation, made in November 2019 in honor of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, kickstarted #InspiredBy, a campaign to end pancreatic cancer by raising awareness and supporting research into early detection. By the end of the campaign in January 2020, generous supporters from across the world had donated over $200,000, and we had raised substantial awareness through international media coverage in CNN, USA Today, and countless other outlets.
I founded Project32 in 2016 with a mission to eradicate dental disease by providing underprivileged communities with access to dental hygiene products. We partner with local dentists, urban homeless shelters, and global nonprofits to spread dental resources to youth worldwide and to homeless populations in the United States. Project32 is rapidly expanding with active student leadership and the recent formation of partnerships with Virginia Garcia and Medical Teams International.
Watch: How it all started
Watch: Everyday Heroes segment on ABC KATU Channel 2 News
Watch: Interview on NBC KGW Channel 8 News
Read: Latest updates from the Project32 team!
Donate to Project32
On Armando Puentes on KBOO FM Community Radio, talking Project32. Listen to the radio interview.
Awards and Honors
Civic Engagement Awards
- 2019 AXA Achievement Scholarship (Recipient), one of ten nationally.
- Daily Point of Light Service Award for outstanding service work with Project32 (Recipient) This award was established by the late President George H.W. Bush during his presidency and recognizes extraordinary volunteers who are donating their time and talent to better their communities. Listen to President Obama talking about the award here.
- 2019 Al Tauscher Teen Recognition Award, Multnomah Athletic Foundation (Recipient) for teamwork, exceptional leadership, and community service.
- 2019 Coca-Cola Scholars Program (Semi-finalist)
- 2019 Bryan Cameron Impact Scholarship (Finalist)
Science and Academic Awards
- Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) (Finalist). 1st place, Bioengineering and Materials, at the 2019 Regional Intel Northwest Science Expo (NWSE), selected to advance directly to ISEF international competition in Phoenix, AZ in May 2019 with full travel scholarship
- Regional Science Bowl (Winner) part of Catlin Gabel team, invited by U.S. Dept. of Energy to National Science Bowl (Washington DC, April 2019) with travel scholarship. (Read Portland Tribune Article )
- 2019 Junior Science & Humanities Symposium State Competition (Semifinalist), sponsored by Dept. of Defense, with full travel scholarship to the national competition in May 2019.
- National AP Scholar
- National Merit Scholarship (Finalist)
- Captain of Team Quantum
- Regional competition: Champion’s award (1st place), 1st place robot performance.
- State competition: Champion’s award (1st place), 1st place robot performance. Selected as one of two Oregon teams (out of > 400) to advance to FLL World Festival (first team in school history).
- FLL World Festival: Global Innovation Award for Q-Gown (2015) (Watch ABC KATU News story about our work)
My TEDx talk (watch here) at UNC, Chapel Hill can be summarized as two simple words that I first mentioned during the Jeopardy! Teen tournament final: Facts Matter. In our current era of information overload, it is more important than ever to remind ourselves of the critical role of facts in forming our opinions.
Using the facts we know as raw material, our brain generates opinions. In the digital age, we run the risk of short-circuiting this critical process. Instead of considering facts, we consume others’ opinions as facts. In a culture dominated by political hyper-polarization, we are inundated with more opinions than ever before. Even worse, through our selection of social media communities and news outlets, we seek out only the opinions we want to hear.
The replacement of facts with opinions corrodes the very foundation of our democracy: free thought. If we only listen to politicians and media personalities with whom we agree, we might never see facts less favorable to our points of view. Listening to other people’s opinions is vital, but we cannot base our opinions solely on others’ points of view. We must remember to build our own opinions. #FactsMatter
My lifelong passion for chess has led to numerous competitive successes, but more importantly broader outreach efforts. My tournament career began at a young age, when I won consecutive Utah State Grade-Level Chess Championships in 2007 and 2008. After moving to Oregon in 2008, I continued to compete on the Oregon scholastic circuit, placing highly in several state competitions. Upon entering high school, I co-founded Catlin Gabel Chess with several of my classmates. After its inception in 2015, Catlin Gabel Chess won three consecutive state championships, three city championships, organized six statewide tournaments, and worked to promote chess worldwide, most notably in Equatorial Guinea. I co-captained the winning chess teams and served as the Co-President of Catlin Gabel Chess since its founding, leading our delegation to Equatorial Guinea in November 2018.
Chess in EG began during my sophomore year in High School – a project in advanced Spanish class tasked us with examining sports in a Spanish-speaking country. We came into contact with Federico Elé Rano, a chess enthusiast in Equatorial Guinea (EG), the only Spanish-speaking nation in Africa, and connected over our shared passion for chess. Over the course of several years, we developed chess lesson plans in Spanish, organized scholastic chess festivals and started a GoFundMe page for chess supplies in EG schools (big thank you to the U.S. Department of State for delivering them).
We worked with local chess activists to help found the Equatoguinean National Chess Association (ANAGE) that allowed for Equatoguinean representation in the World Chess Federation (FIDE). In November 2018, we traveled to EG at the invitation of ANAGE when the organization was officially chartered. We visited schools, met with Cabinet-level Ministers and Olympic officials. Our efforts were covered extensively on local and international media and helped raise chess awareness in the entire region.
Read my Trip Blog here!
It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to qualify as one of 15 teenagers nationwide to compete in the 2019 Jeopardy! Teen Tournament. The tournament began on June 17, and I competed in the first round on June 21, 2019. After my victory in the quarterfinals, I competed in the semifinals on June 26, 2019, where I was able to win in a dramatic tiebreaker, advancing to the two-day finals on June 27-28, 2019. After two days of intense gameplay, I feel blessed to have been named the 2019 Jeopardy Teen Tournament Champion! It was truly an honor to meet and compete against the other contestants, and to have the opportunity to appear on a show that has been a huge part of my life.
Previews: KATU ABC News (AM Northwest), The Oregonian, Portland Tribune, KATU ABC News (News Feature), KTVL CBS News
Quarterfinal: The Oregonian – Preview, The Oregonian – Recap
Semifinal (Tiebreaker): Yahoo News, USA Today, The Oregonian, AOL
Finals: The Oregonian – Preview, The Oregonian – Recap, KATU ABC News (AM Northwest)
International Media Coverage: The Economic Times, The Tribune, ZeeNews, Naidunia, IndiaWest, Asian Fortune, RepublicWorld
Profiles: The Oregonian, Portland Tribune, Oregon Public Broadcasting – Think Out Loud