Alum and 2023 College Commencement Speaker Isha Angadi Looks to Close a Long-Awaited Chapter

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University of Maryland alum Isha Angadi (B.S. ’21, computer science; M.P.S. ’22, data science and analytics) is set to be the master’s student speaker at the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences’ Graduate Commencement Ceremony on May 22, 2023.

Returning to her alma mater holds immense significance for Angadi, evoking a mix of joy and wistfulness as she reflects upon her six transformative years at UMD. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she missed the pomp and circumstance of walking across the stage when she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in May 2021. And then winter commencement ceremonies were canceled altogether beginning in December 2022 when she graduated with her master’s degree.

“I cannot believe I am back at UMD as a commencement speaker,” Angadi said. “When I completed my graduate studies, the absence of a ceremony left me heartbroken. It felt as though a chapter in my life remained unfinished.”

She was excited when she learned she and her classmates would still walk across the stage at the May ceremony. This will help Angadi close this chapter of her life and celebrate her time in College Park, which she considers the best time of her life.

“As a city girl born in Mumbai and raised in Bangalore, India, I was captivated by UMD’s presence,” shared Angadi. “The diversity of individuals on campus created a sense of belonging, as people from all corners of the globe congregated here. Each person brought a wealth of experiences and stories, and I discovered pockets of inspiration in unexpected places.”

After Angadi received her master’s degree, she began working as a junior data scientist at Explore Digits, which uses a data science and analytics approach to analyze, forecast and obtain a deeper understanding of massive amounts of data.  

“My current position as a junior data scientist is influenced by one of the classes I took in my undergrad and graduate studies at UMD: an introductory to data science and machine learning course,” Angadi said. “I said, ‘Wow, there is so much you can do with information and data if you can understand it, parse it and organize it.’ There are endless opportunities in what you can learn. My goal was to specifically try to apply my knowledge of computer science and tech to the health care sector.”

The motivation to combine tech and health care came from her family.

“I aspire to make a significant impact in the healthcare and technology sector, ensuring that health-related technologies become more accessible," Angadi passionately conveyed. "Healthcare shouldn’t be a privilege. In the future, I hope to contribute by developing technologies that bridge this gap and enable individuals worldwide to benefit from accessible healthcare." 

Right now, though, Angadi has her eyes on the big day and her big speech.

“I still can't believe that it is going to happen. I am very excited to have the opportunity and looking forward to my parents, who will be flying in from India, to share in the joy,” she said. “They could not come to campus for the longest time and having them present with all my professors, advisers and peers is going to be very exciting, and I hope I can do it justice.”


—Story by Samuel Malede Zewdu, CS Communications 


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