Post image for M-A senior Simran Kashyap creates iPhone game called This or That

Simran Kashyap, a rising senior at Menlo-Atherton (M-A) High School, has taken her passion for software engineering to the next level and designed an iPhone gaming app, making her one of a steadily increasing number of Silicon Valley female youths who have demonstrated an interest in the technology industry.

The game, entitled “This or That” challenges users by asking them to categorize as many images as possible within a set period of time. This or That is inspired by the popular iPhone game “Llama Or Duck?!”, which features a single mode that displays an image that the user must identify as a llama or duck within a few seconds. Kashyap’s app,however, features various modes and themes, and what may seem like a simple game in concept has required many pages of code and hours of programming.

Simran programmed the app with the help of Palo Alto-based academy MakeGamesWithUs. She had some prior experience after completing the Advanced Placement (AP) computer science course at M-A, but the academy, she said, “helped by having all these [programmers] from different backgrounds to help me and give feedback and encouragement.”

For her, making an app was the “perfect way to practice coding… It is a real application of computer science, as opposed to [just] instruction.” She enjoyed the “hands-on” aspect of designing the game and finds that to be a far more valuable learning experience than lectures and other methods of traditional education.

Based on her experience, Simran describes the tech industry as accepting of and welcoming to prospective women engineers. Contrary to the common belief that the computer science field is unfriendly and even discriminatory towards women, she believes that is is a good fit and says that she never received different treatment because of her gender. From her point of view, the computer science gender gap that has been so prevalent in decades past is gradually closing with the new generation of software engineers.

Her main hope for her app, which is set to be released in early August, is simply “that at least a few will use my app and enjoy it.” The most important aspect to her has been the experience itself.

As for her own future, she hopes to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in computer science in college and pursue a career in the same field. “It might not be every little girl’s dream,” she said, “but it is mine.”

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What caught our eye at the Connoisseurs’ Marketplace in downtown Menlo Park

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The 28th annual Connoisseur’s Marketplace is taking place this weekend in downtown Menlo Park along Santa Cruz Avenue, and we wandered down this morning to take a look. Like similar summer street festivals there’s something for everyone — food, shopping, beer/wine and entertainment. The fun t-shirts from YeahYeah!PonyPrince, which sells original hand-painted linoleum block printed designs […]

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Director of Wine Paul Mekis oversees close to 2,000 bottles of wine at Madera restaurant in Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Director of Wine Paul Mekis oversees close to 2,000 bottles of wine at Madera restaurant in Menlo Park

Madera restaurant’s Director of Wine Paul Mekis was not always a “wine guy”. But he did have early influencers. Raised in Santa Cruz, his father and grandfather made wine. He also remembers a trip to the Napa Valley when he was in his early 20s with his Missouri grandparents. “I’d done some research before and took […]

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Michael Killen’s paintings on display at Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park – talk on climate change also scheduled

Thumbnail image for Michael Killen’s paintings on display at Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park – talk on climate change also scheduled

Menlo Park artist Michael Killen characterizes his work as chronicling the “developments and thoughts of our time that include climate change, human rights, impact of climate change on California’s water, resilience of America, and sustainability.” A sampling of his paintings are currently on display at Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park. Emailed the artist: “One of the […]

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West Menlo Park home is on the Edible Landscaping tour on July 19

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One of the reasons Kristin Kuntz-Duriseti and husband Ram bought their west Menlo Park home eight years ago was to have a bigger piece of land in order to start a suburban fruit and vegetable garden. “The fruit trees were the defining thing,” Kristen said. “And being sustainable was a huge value to us. “We planted 20 […]

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Menlo Park hosts the 28th annual Connoisseur’s Marketplace July 19-20

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park hosts the 28th annual Connoisseur’s Marketplace July 19-20

Presented by the Melo Park Chamber of Commerce, the 28th annual Connoisseur’s Marketplace comes to Santa Cruz Avenue on July 19-20. Hours are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm both days; admission is free. There is also a “Saturday Twilight Concert” featuring Steely Dan/Chicago tribute band Aja Vu from 5:30-8:00 pm on Saturday, July 19 in Fremont Park. Festival […]

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Photographer Mark Tuschman stages Kickstarter campaign to publish book – reception at Menlo Hardwoods on July 18

Thumbnail image for Photographer Mark Tuschman stages Kickstarter campaign to publish book – reception at Menlo Hardwoods on July 18

Menlo Park resident and poet Lynore Banchoff emailed InMenlo: “For the past decade, my friend in Menlo Park and professional photographer Mark Tuschman, has been on a mission to document the lack of autonomy that millions of women in developing countries have over their own lives and bodies. “Through his photography, he brings these women and […]

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An iPhone is handy camera to have for “July-ing” around Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for An iPhone is handy camera to have for “July-ing” around Menlo Park

Ah, Menlo Park! As shot from my iPhone this week: Farmer’s Market peppers at the peek of perfection. Laurel Street, a sidewalk showcase for strolling. Painterly edited. Black Eyed Susans in all their summer glory. Pumpkins July-ing around on hot summer days. Pictured is Lolly Font, 84, Menlo Park Yogi, doing her daily yoga walk […]

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Actor/singer Pierce Peter Brandt offers summer musical theater workshops for tweens and teens

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Pierce Peter Brandt has been performing since he was a kid. Growing up in Palo Alto, he was the lead in Oliver, when TheatreWorks first staged the musical. He went south to attend USC but left college for his first paid gig as a singer on a cruise ship, followed by similar jobs, both on the high seas and […]

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Susan and Sanford Carnahan’s photos on display at Atherton Library – talk scheduled for July 13

Thumbnail image for Susan and Sanford Carnahan’s photos on display at Atherton Library – talk scheduled for July 13

Husband and wife Susan and Sanford Carnahan are having their first joint exhibit of photographs. The photos are on display at the Atherton Library through August 30, and the Menlo Park-based couple will be giving a talk at the Library on Sunday, July 13 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Emails Susan: “Sandy has 18 images on display, […]

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Photographer Alan McGee is featured artist in July at Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Photographer Alan McGee is featured artist in July at Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park

“Onions Observed — An Animistic Perspective” by photographer Alan McGee of Portola Valley is the featured exhibit in July at the Portola Art Gallery at the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park. There will be a reception for the artist on Saturday, July 12, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. The “Onions Observed” project originated in […]

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