Spotlight – Alli Cheney

Meet Alli Cheney, a senior double-majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. Originally from Westfield, Massachusetts, Alli admits that she didn’t like URI when she first visited it during the summer, but she fell in love with the friendly people on subsequent visits during the school year. One of Alli’s favorite leisure activities is walking on the beach and seawall, which makes URI ideal for her. She started out as a Mathematics major, because she liked math but wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do. Her sophomore year, she took Prof. Fay-Wolfe’s “Joy of Programming” class, which convinced her to add the CS major. Alli has been a Spin+ Scholarship recipient for the past three and a half years. This award is a part of The National Science Foundation’s effort to increase the numbers and strengthen the workforce in technology and mathematics, and has included a cohort of students in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Computer Engineering. Alli credits SPIN+ with helping her to get to know other students, as well as having access to mentorship and support from the other scholars as well as the SPIN+ mentors. Alli has also been a teaching assistant for CSC 211, URI’s challenging introductory course for CS majors. The most memorable parts of Alli’s career at URI include the many opportunities to learn from our faculty, as well as the opportunities for her professional life, including attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women In Computing. Going to Grace Hopper helped her focus, see how to do more than just coding, and become aware of how computing can impact society. She is driven to do “really good work in code, and also affect the people around me and how we interact.” This drive to impact the world through both code and human interactions led Alli to found URI’s Society for Women In Computing, which meets biweekly. Alli has worked on several extracurricular projects during her time at URI; she implemented a virtual tutoring system for the Department of Mathematics, and more recently worked for the Wearable Biosensing Lab on the “Brain Body Fusion Project,” for which she created
visualization software to show different levels of hemoglobin in the brain while the body is in motion, for early detection of neurodegenerative diseases. This project involved motion capture, visualization, and data analysis. Upon graduation, Alli will join Pratt & Whitney as an embedded systems programmer.