Cambridge, Mass. (November 15) – MIT senior Abby Bertics (La Jolla, Calif.) was voted to the Google Cloud Academic All-District Volleyball Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday. She will represent the Engineers on the national ballot and will contend for Academic All-America honors to be voted on later this month.
Named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team in 2017, Bertics is the recipient of her second straight All-District award. Earlier this week, she was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America Third Team for the second year in a row. Bertics was tabbed for her second NEWMAC Athlete of the Year honor last week in addition to earning a spot on the NEWMAC All-Conference First Team and the New England Women's Volleyball Association All-New England First Team. She currently leads Division III in kills per set (4.97) while ranking fifth across all NCAA Divisions. She paces the NEWMAC in kills (437) and kills per set while standing fifth in hitting percentage (.304).
A three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team qualifier, Bertics is majoring in electrical engineering and computer science with a minor in linguistics. This past summer as a software engineering intern at Google, she contributed to Google Analytics' system of answering natural language queries and added capabilities to parse a query in multiple ways, increasing the quality of query understanding as well as allowing more versatility in the types of answerable queries. While conducting a UROP in natural language processing with CSAIL, Bertics applied natural topic and semantic analysis techniques to extract ascertainment sentences from cancer research papers for meta-analysis.
As a Google Engineering Practicum intern, Bertics contributed to the development of the related posts feature for the Android and iOS Google My Business apps which provides dynamic example posts for merchants based on their location and business type. She was a Proof of Concept Development intern at Capgemini in Paris where she coded a real-time language translation app for a humanoid robot, Pepper. In addition, Bertics implemented an algorithm that allows a computer to recognize the configuration of a chessboard through image processing, determine the move the opponent made, and return the best move in response to enable Pepper to play chess.
In MIT's Toy Product Design class, she created "mozArt," a pen that links the experiences of drawing pictures and making music to create a synesthesia for the user. Bertics is the technology and web chair for the MIT Society of Women Engineers and is the vice president of scholarship for Sigma Kappa.
MIT is the all-time Division III leader in producing CoSIDA Academic All-Americas and ranks second across all NCAA divisions with 295 honors. In addition, the women's volleyball program stands second with 23 selections as it trails Nebraska on the list.