Student Spotlight: Amanda Liu

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Amanda Liu has been at University of Maryland for less than a year, and yet, she boasts a lengthy and impressive resume.
Liu is a first year ACES student majoring in computer science with a minor in statistics. Across campus, she’s additionally involved with the Smith Investment Fund Quantitative Team. She also acts as a sponsorship organizer for Bitcamp hackathon, an Honors College Ambassador, and a teaching assistant.
A Banneker/Key scholar, Liu is the recipient of a number of other awards, including Bethesda Magazine Extraordinary Teen in 2019, 2020 Maryland Student Journalist of the Year from the Journalism Education Association, the 2019 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Circle Certificate of Merit, and a first-place Sigma Xi FDA Excellence in Science award at the 2019 Montgomery County Science Fair for my research on muscular dystrophy treatments at the National Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Liu additionally published a a computational biology paper in iScience called "Identifying Drug Sensitivity Subnetworks with NETPHIX" after her internship at the National Institutes of Health National Library of Medicine in the summer of 2020.
And though her life sounds busy enough, Liu additionally finds time to pursue hobbies, such as swimming, reading, and writing, outside of her academic successes.
However, though her involvement stretches far beyond the Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students, ACES played a major role in Liu’s decision to attend UMD.
“ACES was a big factor in my decision to come to UMD, as I liked what the program had to offer both academically and socially,” said Liu. “Ultimately, I decided to join ACES because I heard so many positive things about the program from current and former students. I wanted to be a part of the amazing community ACES fosters and learn more about cybersecurity.”
And learn more about cybersecurity she did. This summer, Liu will serve as a Software Engineering intern with the Identity and Risk Services team at GoDaddy, a position which she attributes partially to the cybersecurity skills she learned in the ACES program.
However, practical skills aren’t the only positive Liu gained through ACES. She also values the relationships she made living within the community.
“I found the ACES community extremely helpful in navigating my first year of college as well as my first internship recruitment season,” said Liu. “The ACES sophomores were all so welcoming and happy to answer any questions I had about classes, clubs, and career fairs.”
As such, Liu is excited to continue this legacy with next year’s new ACES students. Offering her best advice for these new students, Liu recommends: “Get involved with the ACES community! Come to events, and don't be afraid to reach out to sophomores or upperclassmen and ask questions.”

Published February 17, 2021