Vanessa Bellotti: Gaining inspiration from Break Through Tech AI’s practical solutions and applications

Studying Computer Science at Tufts University in Boston, Vanessa is inspired by the practical applications and solutions she is experiencing with the Break Through Tech AI Program.


Vanessa first heard about the Break Through Tech AI Program from fellow students at Tufts University in Boston, where she is studying Computer Science with a planned graduation date of 2025. “The promise of a community of like-minded women helping each other grow in both technical and professional aspects is really what drew me to the program,” said Vanessa. “I have been interested in the ML Engineering space for a couple of years now and have been trying to learn about the different specializations of the field, so the promise of industry speakers and real-life projects with Break Through Tech was very appealing to me.”

Vanessa has certainly not been disappointed in her Break Through Tech experience to date. Inspired by the speakers and her peers, the AI Program has confirmed her career aspirations, and not just to work with data but to deploy ML models and architect solutions. She is nearing completion of her AI Studio project, which is focused on autonomous vehicle safety by improving the accuracy of pedestrian and cyclist detection.

Vanessa says she has been lucky to have had a number of individuals who have inspired her life and career so far, including her mother, who showed her all the amazing things that women can do, and her father, who played a big role in introducing her to technology. “Outside of my parents, one of my greatest inspirations is Margaret Hamilton, who was director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory,” says Vanessa. “She was a pioneer in America’s spaceflight efforts by developing the on-board flight software for NASA’s Apollo program!”

“Embrace the challenges and step out of your comfort zone.”

Vanessa’s enthusiasm for tech is fueled by an insatiable curiosity that drives her to explore new academic subjects and concepts. “I have a knack for breaking down intricate topics into manageable components, which allows me to understand them better and apply effective solutions. This blend of curiosity and problem-solving helps me bridge the gap between theory and application.”

When she’s not studying or working on projects, Vanessa enjoys tennis, biking, reading, writing, and playing board games with friends and family.

When asked about her advice to other students considering the Break Through Tech program, Vanessa emphasizes the importance of self-belief: “It’s very easy to discount yourself, taking yourself out of the running for an opportunity, but it’s important to remember that you are capable of far more than you might initially believe. Embrace the challenges and step out of your comfort zone, as these are often the moments where personal growth and success are most likely to flourish.”