Meet the undergrads studying IT for social good

Study IT
Students at Monash University are combining their love of technology with their passion for making the world a better place. Image: Shutterstock

Meet two students combining their love of technology with their passion for making the world a better place

Looking for a uni with a conscience? Monash University’s Faculty of IT is leading more than 200 projects under its IT for Social Good mission – from lifesaving Artificial Intelligence, to inclusive tech for people with vision impairments.

Tech to plate

Joseph Sinclair hasn’t even graduated but he’s already developed a popular app that’s improving access to fresh food during the pandemic. 

Joseph has developed an app to help people share their fresh food.

Joseph Sinclair hasn’t even graduated but he’s already developed a popular app that’s improving access to fresh food during the pandemic.

The inspo for Sprout came while Joseph was in New Zealand using honesty boxes to share homegrown produce. While studying a Bachelor of Computer Science at Monash University, Joseph developed the digital platform to allow people to share their excess produce, whether they want to sell, buy or swap.

“I just wanted it to be a way for people to share their fresh food and help local communities,” he says.

Having launched the app at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Joseph didn’t predict the added benefits. “Sprout helped reduce the number of people needing to do their grocery shopping in public places. Lockdown also created an increase in new home gardeners,” he says. Sprout has been downloaded more than 3000 times, and Joseph was a Tech Visionary Award Finalist for the 2021 7News Young Achiever Award. That’s growing good.

Joseph’s study and career path

Driving diversIT

IT and Arts undergraduate Lalitha Polamraju is passionate about increasing diversity in technology and STEM

“The inherent beauty of variety is not considered enough,” stresses IT/arts student Lalitha.

Lalitha Polamraju loves language and is excited about the prospect of a career in cyber security, so she signed up for a degree in IT and Arts at Monash University.

When she’s not studying or taking part in cool events like security hackathons, she’s also the student co-lead on the Monash diversIT team, an initiative that aims to support under- represented students in the IT community.

“This year, we asked, ‘How do we increase diversity in IT beyond the university?’” she says.

Their answer? Talking to high school students. “I’m working with our entire committee to curate and present workshops at high schools,” Lalitha says.

“I think this project is taking us one step closer to our mission to inspire under-represented students to pursue IT, and by extension, STEM.”

“The inherent beauty of variety is not considered enough,” she says.

Lalitha’s study and career pathway

  • Bachelor of IT and Arts, Monash University
  • Programming Bootcamp Facilitator, Monash University Faculty of IT
  • Co-Lead, DiversIT, Monash University

This article is brought to you in partnership with Monash University and originally appears in Careers with STEM: Technology 2021.

READ MORE: 

STEM Contributor

Author: STEM Contributor

This article was written by a STEM Contributor for Careers with STEM. To learn more, please visit our contact page.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.