Vice President Kamala Harris Honors CSE Student Naba Rizvi (PhD ’25)

Dec 22, 2022
Naba Rizvi was honored by Vice President Kamala Harris for being a Computer Science hero

By Kimberley Clementi

I send my warmest congratulations on your selection as a Computer Science Hero.

Vice President Kamala Harris sent a personal note of congratulations to Naba Rizvi, a PhD student in UC San Diego’s Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department, for her recent recognition by CSEdWeek as a Computer Science Hero. The Vice President honored Rizvi for her endeavors to make computer science accessible for all learners and noted the barriers and stereotypes Rizvi, and others from underrepresented groups, have faced in computing.

The Vice President’s message resonated with Rizvi, a first-generation college student who was one of only two women in her undergraduate information technology program at the University of Toledo.

“This recognition means a lot to me as I am a trailblazer in my family and community in a lot of ways,” said Rizvi. “When my mama heard the Vice President sent me a letter, she cried because she knows how far I've come and all the obstacles I’ve had to overcome to get here.”

Rizvi’s primary research interest – both at UC San Diego and as an intern at Google Health AI – is health equity. She aims to impact disability inclusion in artificial intelligence (AI), particularly for the neurodiverse and autism communities.

“I hope my work will be user-centered and driven by the needs and values of the diverse communities I have the privilege of working with,” said Rizvi.

Rizvi, who is being advised by CSE Associate Professor Imani Munyaka, was selected as a Computer Science Hero for her technical contributions to the field in the areas of disability and intersectionality. Prior recognition for her research included a National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Collegiate Award and a demo at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City.