Maya Burhanpurkar will be taking a gap year before attending Harvard University for her undergraduate studies. Her current work involves the development of a fully autonomous wheelchair to assist quadriplegics and others with severe disabilities.
Maya has twice won the Grand Platinum Award at the Canada-Wide Science Fair and has represented Canada at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and the Google Science Fair. She was named one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 in 2013 and the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year in 2011. She was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
Maya previously served as the president of a national non-profit that provides science outreach to over 120,000 youths across Canada. She has produced a documentary about climate change featuring Margaret Atwood, Chris Hadfield, Wade Davis and other prominent Canadians, tracked near-Earth asteroids for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and completed projects in quantum cryptography and cosmology at the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
Maya was born and raised in Oro-Medonte, Ontario.