Tamar Geller '23 Wins Adobe Scholarship


Tamar Geller ‘23 has received the Adobe Research Women-in-Technology (WIT) Scholarship, which recognizes outstanding female students studying artificial intelligence/machine learning, data science, computer science or mobile/web development.

The goal of the scholarship, according to Adobe, is to recognize outstanding female undergraduate and master’s students who were working on the next generation of technology, and to give them the support they need to continue to hone their skills. 

Among other activities, Geller serves as co-chair of the Yale Student Branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (Y-IEEE), where she oversees multiple project teams. Along with co-chair Taylor Chapman '22 and founder Will Sussman '21, she has secured funding that will enable the chapter to host 15 club events and cover equipment and costs for the 60 members. She has also helped organized peer mentoring program for underrepresented students in STEM. The IEEE chapter received the 2020 Regional Exemplary Student Branch Award. 

“We’ve spent a lot of time in building up this club as a community for electrical engineers on campus, but also as a resource for them to explore different projects and get some hands-on experience that they might not typically get at theoretical lectures,” she said. 

Among other projects, the club has created a station on campus where members will send signals to the moon and communicate with radio stations on the International Space Station, a DMX light display on Harkness Tower, and a mini communications network specializing in coding and decoding signals.  

Geller also works in the lab of Priyadarshini Panda, assistant professor of electrical engineering, where she researches spiking neural networks. 

“I've been working in the lab since this past summer when everything went remote,” Geller said. “I wanted to make sure I could find some opportunity for growth, and this was something I could do remotely. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from Professor Panda and I've gotten to work with talented grad students who were literally all over the world.” 

Mark Reed, the Harold Hodgkinson Professor of Electrical Engineering & Applied Physics, noted that Geller is “a great promoter of STEM,” having authored numerous articles in the Yale Daily News and serving as a Yale Admissions Engineering Tour Guide. Her many accomplishments have been recognized with a Charles H. Siegel Fellowship and a Davenport Richter Fellowship for research.  

“Tamar is very passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM fields,” he said. “Tamar is a student that one feels privileged to mentor.”

Geller also has memberships in the Society of Women Engineering, Yale Women and Gender Minorities in Computer science (WGiCS), Yale University Intelligent Computing Lab, and Girls Who Code. 

As part of the scholarship, Geller receives $10,000 to put towards tuition. She is particularly interested, though, in the connection it gives her to the other winners of this year’s scholarship. 

“Most important is that I've really gotten to know this cohort of 14 other incredible women,” she said. “We’ve been able to meet virtually and we’re discussing working on a project together - something to give back to the community, and meant to encourage other women in STEM by giving them tools and concrete steps in, such as how to join a lab, how to apply for internships, and things like that.”