Damilola Awofisayo


Woodbridge, Virginia

Academic Interests

Computer Science, Public Policy, & Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Fun Fact

I have 18 middle names!

Up Nepa!” we cried in unison when the television shut off halfway through an MTV music video. As our electricity went out again, we hurried outside and continued our mini dance party under the sunset. 

Through my experience with unstable electricity and my limited STEM exposure in Nigeria, I saw technology as inconsistent and unreliable. Initially, I wanted nothing to do with it. I had little to no computing classes available to me before high school, so I had very little interest in it. But my freshman year, when the drama elective I signed up for was full, I was put into a Foundations of computer science class. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with computer science because of the immense opportunity it gives for problem-solving, not only to solve problems using computer science but also to solve problems within the field itself. I’ve done this by doing software engineering, cybersecurity, and machine learning research at Duke and George Mason University and building mobile and web apps for social good at hackathons across the country.

Since I've been at Duke, I have been a part of the Tech Policy Research Lab at Sanford School of Public policy, researching issues related to international cybersecurity, and I’m on the organizing team for HackDuke, Duke’s hackathon organization that organizes the largest collegiate hackathon for social good in the country. I am also a member of Duke Cyber Club's exec board. My curiosity lies at the intersection of computer science, entrepreneurship, and society. I hope to explore what it truly means to innovate and rethink the traditional methods of computer science innovation to include a greater focus on community awareness and ethics. I also hope to further understand the impact of politics and society when creating accessible, efficient, and novel technology.

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

The people here are incredible. Everyone is so nice, smart, and passionate about making the world a better place in their own unique ways. I've never had a dull conversation with a Duke student, whether it's about class, society, or Duke sports. I look forward to having more enlightening conversations and working with all these amazing people, learning from their diverse experiences and unique perspectives.

Damilola Awofisayo
Damilola Awofisayo