Small Robot That Gracefully Performs Tai Chi Movements, Programed By A Woman

By Irene Guerrero , Feb 06, 2017 12:15 AM EST

Tai chi is a noncompetitive martial art known for both its defense techniques and its health benefits. A student, Jane Wu at Harvey Mudd College in California, was able to write instruction codes for a small robot to gracefully perform Tai Chi movements. Wu is a third year student in mathematics and computer science at the college, a leader that encourages women in high technology.

She said of her decision to pursue a computer science career was that the moment during her freshman robotics elective that she took, called Autonomous Vehicles. In the class they were instructed to create their own autonomous robots from scratch. Now, she is successful in creating and programming a small robot that performs Tai Chi movements.

The Harvey Mudd College has 800 students. The college focuses on engineering, and is part of an educational cluster called The Claremont Colleges. Located in the eastern suburbs of Los Angeles. Harvey Mud College was named after the mining engineer who helped to found the school.

The school developed its computer science program a decade ago. To make the discipline less intimidating to those with little background in computers. Last year half of the graduates in computer science were women. Wu, who programs the small robot to perform Tai Chi movements, soon will be one of those graduates of computer science.

Students, at first are placed in academic streams based on their knowledge of computers to reduce the intimidation factor. Subsequently, many will come to understand that computer science is a beautiful and intellectual discipline. But also, a useful and practical one.

The introductory computer science class has caught the interest of senior Veronica Rivera. She is also majoring in computer science and mathematics. She said, it was a very balanced class. She thinks the professors also do a very good job of making sure everyone feels welcome, regardless of their coding ability. Rivera aims to develop computer applications to help people with motor impairments. According to the Harvey Mudd College, they are one of the premier engineering, science and mathematics colleges in the United States.

According to VOA, in the Harvey Mudd College, a lot of women discover the beauty of programming. Each year women enrolled in the computer science and mathematics class is increasing. The creation of the Tai Chi moving small robot is a wonderful beginning of the success of women in computer science.

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