Nissi Ragland

  • High School Student, Hawaii Preparatory Academy

Nissi is a high school senior at Hawaii Preparatory Academy who is passionate about using data and technology to improve the human experience. Her love for technology sparked at a young age. Her parents, who greatly value education, worked hard to create an environment where she could explore her academic curiosities. She also has an older brother who she has always looked up to, and his interests in robotics and computer science greatly influenced her initial fascination with STEM fields. As Nissi got older, she had new experiences and met people from various backgrounds, teaching her more about the human experience and inspiring her to pursue neuroscience and computer science to create technology that improves the way humanity lives and interacts with the world. As of right now, Nissi’s greatest technical accomplishment is her neuroprosthetic project, which aims to use brainwaves to control a 3D-printed prosthetic arm. This project is the culmination of all her past work in behavioral neuroscience, coding, robotics, and 3D design. She is currently working on extracting live data from brainwave headsets to send to an Arduino, which controls the movements of her neuroprosthetic. She hopes to eventually improve it by incorporating machine learning algorithms so that the prosthetic can move more smoothly. In addition to this project, she has earned a professional certificate in Python data science, designed and crafted multiple laser cut and 3d printed products, and conducted behavioral neuroscience research. In the future, Nissi dreams of studying how the brain functions and how she can use data and artificial intelligence to both replicate human intelligence and better people’s lives. She hopes to have a career as a scientific researcher who uses cognition as a way to better understand humanity as a whole and develop technology that is more intelligent and capable of helping people on a level never reached before.