Apple has announced WWDC20 Swift Student Challenge winners ahead of the 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference on June 22. Apple has selected 350 winners from 41 different countries.
, 19, who grew up in New Delhi and finished his freshman year at
the University of Texas at Austin
is among the winners.
“That whole experience of two to three months of suffering — I think that really inspired me to learn programming and to use it as a problem-solving tool,” says Taneja, who just finished his freshman year at the University of Texas at Austin.
Taneja participated in
the Swift Student Challenge
by submitting a project around social distancing against the backdrop of COVID-19.
He designed a Swift playground that teaches coding while simulating how a pandemic moves through a population, showing how precautions such as social distancing and masks can help slow infection rates. He created it to help educate young people, after he saw others not taking warnings seriously, as per a statement by Apple.
Four years ago, he contracted a severe case of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne virus that left him hospitalised.
“That whole experience of two to three months of suffering — I think that really inspired me to learn programming and to use it as a problem-solving tool,” he was quoted by Apple in the official statement.
He went on to create a web-based tool that uses
to predict how mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever would spread.
Taneja is also passionate about education. In India, while still a teenager himself, he volunteered teaching English and math at a school for students whose families couldn’t afford to pay tuition. Before he left for college in the US, he created a program that translates popular online education videos into roughly 40 languages, so that children who don’t have physical access to quality education can learn on the web.