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Kristiana Rendón is doing her best to keep her head on the ground, no matter how many chances she has to look to the stars.

Rendón, a second-year computer science student at PCC, was recently featured in a NASA profile highlighting her involvement in two futuristic projects with the space agency. As a member of professor Jamal Ashraf's "Swarmathon" team, Rendón has been working for the past year to program small robots to perform simple tasks, as a way of identifying advanced algorithms that could help future astronauts survive on the Moon, Mars, or other heavenly bodies. 

Her participation in Swarmathon led to her selection to take part in "Launching to Learn," a NASA project designed to introduce college students to the complex tasks involved in designing, building, and launching a rocket. Rendón said the process taught her as much about organizational dynamics as astrophysics.

“I was selected by my group to be our team leader,” the NASA story quotes Rendón as saying. “That meant learning each person’s strengths and weaknesses, then assigning tasks based on that. It helped us learn how people need to work as one.”

Back at PCC, Rendón serves as president of She.Codes, a group that encourages and supports more women to enter the field of computer science. 

To read Rendón's profile, visit the NASA website.

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