Tiffany Han Shi is a rising junior at Stanford University, majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Music. Shi got into coding during high school and really enjoyed the environment of her local Girls Who Code Club. She also enjoys music and likes to write classical music.
Her passion for coding took her to work for the Landing Vision System for the Mars 2020 Perseverance last year. The Lander Vision System allows the spacecraft to take images as it descends through the Mars atmosphere. It then compares these images to reference maps from previous missions, matching landmarks in the photos to calibrate and find its position. This will allow the spacecraft to divert from any perceived hazards as it descends into Jezero Crater, which is an unprecedented landing site due to its geographically hazardous terrain.
A copy of this system was sent to Death Valley, which has similar terrain to that of Mars. Shi and her team were then able to test the algorithm in the field and identify any possible limitations/errors in the algorithm. Shi spent her summer sourcing these issues, focusing especially on a position calibration error in the optical direction as well as issues in landmark identification.
Shi is currently interning for Microsoft this summer. When she isn’t working, she enjoys taking walks with her family, going on easy hikes, and exploring Norcal.
Get to know more about Tiffany in her interview below!