Photo by Ivan Diaz on Unsplash

By Luiza Wolf (Duke ‘22)

The federal government has had a tremendous impact on COVID-19 vaccine development. Billions of dollars have been devoted to research and manufacturing of vaccines as a way of combating the pandemic. It’s starting to pay off: over 118 million vaccines are already in arms, with that number growing every day. Yet while in some places getting a vaccine might be as easy as checking Walgreens’s scheduling tools (even if you have to check every day), it’s not so straightforward everywhere around the United States. Vaccine rollout, in regards to actually administering the vaccines, has been…


by Sam Carpenter, Duke ‘24

Hey everyone! This is the first issue of Commet-ary, our new opinion article series. Today, we’re talking about some recent moves in the cryptocurrency world and how it affects the entire tech industry!

On February 18th, NVIDIA, the largest manufacturer of high-performance graphics processing units (GPUs) in the world, announced that they would be releasing a new line of processors designed only to mine cryptocurrency, specifically Ethereum. In order to encourage miners to buy these cards, they also announced that any new non-mining GPUs would have software built into them to limit their ability to…


Written by D’Mya Gernae Sanford

If being a professor at Duke University, an author, the first Black woman to graduate from North Carolina State University with a Ph.D in Computer Science, and a former employee at the Department of Homeland Security, Google, and Lockheed Martin doesn’t stack your resume — there is not much else that will.

Dr. Nicki Washington joined the Duke Computer Science department in 2020, equipped with an extraordinary past and a mission on her mind. After nearly fifteen years of teaching at HBCUs (Howard University and Winthrop University), Dr. …


By Matthew Brune (Duke ’23) and Luiza Wolf (Duke ‘22)

You heard a lot about Luke and Mary’s journey in On the Rocks, but where are they now?

Currently, Luke and Mary are second-semester seniors, quickly approaching graduation in less than two months. But they aren’t living in the Hollows, or a local Durham apartment — they’re living in Denver, CO, putting in 18-hour days as students and entrepreneurs. Their passion for financial technology, or “fin-tech,” coupled with their expertise in computing, software, and machine learning found them an investor with an office in Denver. …


Founding a startup in the middle of a pandemic

Image by author

By Sydney Ballard (Duke ‘23)

Imagine this: you’re about to graduate college, a global pandemic causes you to be kicked off your college campus. No graduation, no official close to this chapter of your life, and on top of that, the world as we know it is changed (seemingly overnight). That’s the situation Rahul Sengottuvelu faced early last year, and he managed to turn it around completely by founding Cohere. …


By Matthew Brune (Duke ’23) and Luiza Wolf (Duke ‘22)

As you look through their LinkedIn pages, it’s a journey through the stars themselves. The phrases jump right out at you: “triple major: 3.97 GPA,” “Google intern,” “Salesforce intern,” “founders” and “co-founder” titles galore. You’d think that these people were out of this world, that they had already shot for the moon and got there. Okay, enough space jokes now. What you wouldn’t expect is that these two people are some of the most down-to-earth people you’ll find. The only thing that can rival their work ethic and an exhaustive…


Written by Jessica Luan (Duke University ‘24)

Synopsis: GoFundMe is the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. Users connect with donors and raise money for soccer tournaments, classroom supplies, and everything in between. Increasingly, however, GoFundMe donors have become a significant source of funding for medical bills. Many users with chronic or incurable diseases turn to GoFundMe to raise funds to pay for expensive hospital bills, experimental therapies not covered by insurance, or medication. This situation raises ethical issues of patient privacy, online privacy, and healthcare “deservingness,” themes I will explore in this article.

GoFundMe helps users crowdfund for “the most important…


By Sydney Ballard (Duke ‘23)

Getting into Duke has been one of my greatest accomplishments. I worked immensely hard putting myself into a position that would allow me to (1) get into a great college and (2) get me far away from home. Don’t get me wrong, I love living with my family and I love where I live, but, I knew college would be the best opportunity to experience a new environment — new city, new weather, new people, the whole shebang. For these reasons, Duke was pretty much the perfect match for me.

My first year on campus…


By Sam Carpenter (Duke ‘24)

As a college student in a shifting world during a global pandemic, it can be easy to feel like you have no direction, or like you don’t know what you want to do with your life. So many of us want to break into the tech industry, but don’t know where or how to start. …


By Caroline Carey (Duke ‘23)

The ethical debate surrounding Parler’s take down as seen from both sides.

Should a tech CEO have the power to silence the President of the United States? What about an entire political party? Do tech companies have a responsibility to stop people inciting violence on their platforms? What is the government’s role in this and do they have any authority over harmful content on the internet? The Capitol Riots last month raised all of these questions and more and at the forefront of it all was the debate over Parler.

Image from Global Competition Review

Parler is a social media…

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