Helen Cheng

My name is Helen Cheng, and I am going to the University of California: San Diego. My goals are to receive a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in computer science and a master’s degree in Systems Design and Engineering. One day, I’d like to have a Ph.D. for the sake of one.
My interest is in creating clean, energy efficient transportation that can travel at Mach 4, four times the speed of sound (about the speed to travel from California to New York in an hour). I’d like to oversee all parts of this transportation (possibly a hyperloop or supersonic jet), with expert contributions in aerodynamics, electrical systems, and energy regeneration within the vehicle. The plan is to work for Hyperloop Technologies Inc., Tesla, SpaceX, or NASA, and create my own company if absolutely necessary. Over the summer, Google will teach me some advanced computer science skills to push me ahead.

The dream is to create transportation that will travel across the U.S. in about an hour, in order to allow that physical presence that Google Hangouts or Skype can’t create. I’d like this to one day be accessible and cheap by everyone everywhere. This vision mostly came from my moving eight times around North America, experiencing the instability of poverty and insecurity first hand. This transportation could solve the instability, lack of communication, and much more.

I believe California’s Central Valley is an untapped region for renewable, clean energy, so I also plan to return and harness energy from (for one example) their massive methane production and the plentiful sunlight. Clean, renewable energy is about level with transportation on the priority list.

I plan to use the scholarship to pay for books, a bike (to travel around the city), and dormitory supplies. With whatever leftover, I plan to buy materials to create and sell art pieces (a successful side hobby) to further support me in college. The scholarship will reduce the amount of loan money I have to take out, preventing me from sinking deeply into debt.