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Audra Z

- Research Program Mentor

MS candidate at University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)


web development, machine learning, game development, general coding, epidemiology, philosophy, theater


I am a Master of Computer and Information Technology student at the University of Pennsylvania. I have experience coding machine learning algorithms, games, and websites. Before I started pursuing computer science, I was a teacher and tutor, working with hundreds of students in middle school, high school, college, and beyond, both one-on-one and in the classroom. Additionally, I have a background in epidemiology from volunteering with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and in philosophy (particularly philosophy of mathematics) and literature from my undergraduate degree from "Great Books" school St. John's College. In my spare time, I love to act in local theater, read, and play with my cat, Mitsu. Mentoring is a great fit for me as I really enjoy helping students reach their full potential and am excited to participate in new research!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Math Game

Create an educational game to help young children build number sense in a fun and engaging way. Players can choose one of two "paths" (e.g, Jungle Safari or Marine Adventure) and unlock the storyline by solving problems.

Is this a cat? (Machine Learning)

Build a simple neural network with Python and Tensorflow to identify whether a picture is a cat or a non-cat (or any animal of your choice!). Learn how to balance bias and variance to optimize your model for accuracy.

Coding skills

Python, Java, C

Teaching experience

For the past five years, I have tutored hundreds of students in middle school through college for SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE, and college admissions. Before that, I spent three years teaching K-5 mathematics and other subjects in the Great Hearts Academies charter school system.


Work experience

Self (2016 - Current)
GMAT & GRE Tutor
Maricopa County Department of Public Health (2016 - 2017)
Epidemiology Intern
St. John's College, Santa Fe (2011 - 2012)
Semantic Web Researcher
University of Maryland School of Medicine (2011 - 2011)
Research Intern


St. John's College - Annapolis
BA Bachelor of Arts (2013)
Liberal Arts
University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)
MS Master of Science candidate
Computer and Information Technology

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