Manahil Tariq


Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Academic Interests

Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, & Cybersecurity

Fun Fact

I have two pet baby goats back home named Waldo and Harvy. 

Whether it's setting up a system of automated lights in my high school, building a Health Band and App for elderly diabetics, or figuring out how to make electricity from a car door’s slam (and then turning the National Science Fair winning project into a provisional patent application), I feel like I have the power to make an impact with computer science and engineering. 

When I let my experiences and identity inform the impact I make, I think my work truly takes on purpose. My story (which is still ever evolving) involves many experiences from being a Duke student to a woman of color in tech to being an active member of my rural village in Pakistan.

In high school, studying in some of the best private schools in the country while simultaneously living in my village every summer made it easy to notice the lack of access to and information around technology resources in Pakistan. Beyond that, sixty years ago in my family, my grandmother (and most of my family) was completely illiterate and didn’t even know how to write or read her own name. I leverage my opportunities and experiences in the same village today to make sure the world doesn’t move on without another generation. My Rural Digital Literacy Project in Do-Chak Shamali and the surrounding villages targets young girls but focuses on providing access to Information Technology for all children. It is an annual summer and winter effort with a standardized curriculum, resources in 3 languages, and a community space we set up including nine computers.  

Tech Equity is a goal I hope will always be part of my story. As I explore new things at Duke like cybersecurity, statistics, and game design, I want to make sure I remember the identities that get forgotten in the conversations around advancement. 

Many of the organizations that I have found at Duke like my University Scholars Program, DukeLIFE, DTech, and Society of Women Engineers are inclusive of diverse backgrounds and help me explore aspects of my experiences and others as I grow at Duke. 

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

Duke’s strong community and sense of support in academics, financials, and professional spheres (especially amongst groups like SPIRE) is what makes me feel like it is the perfect place for me. 

Along with campus being full of opportunities, it’s full of great food (yes, even at MP) and hilarious friends that makes it feel like home. Waiting for the C1 in frustration while staring at the beautiful skies of Durham above Baldwin auditorium is begrudgingly becoming one of the highlights of my first year. Duke has provided access to new ideas, new goals, new food, new friends, and new habits all within this first year.

Manahil Tariq
Manahil Tariq