Innovative Minds: Harini Venkatesh

C M Rice Middle School | 8th grade | 14 years old

The Comptometrist: An Efficient Way to Determine Myopic Power

About the Idea

Harini developed The Comptometrist, a prototype designed to cut down the time needed to determine myopic power in a patient’s eyes.

Why did you enter the 3M Young Scientist Challenge?

My inspiration to begin this project came from my sister’s first eye check-up. After her check up, she complained that she had not been able to understand which lens options to choose when the doctor asked which had been clearer. This made sense, as her five year old mind was not able to understand some of the more subtle differences in the clarity of her vision. When I recounted the story to peers at school, I was met with a large group of sympathizers, and it was evident that a new method was necessary.

What is your favorite invention of the last 100 years, and why?

My favorite invention in the last century is the discovery of penicillin and the subsequent invention of antibiotics. It amazes me to no end that this was a completely accidental discovery, yet it affects so much of our lives today. If Alexander Fleming had not come upon penicillin that day in 1928, I believe that the human race would not be what it is today. But not only did antibiotics almost singlehandedly save the world from numerous deadly bacterial infections, they also paved the way for other vital procedures such as those in cancer treatment, blood transfusions, and surgeries, all of which save lives. The invention of antibiotics is a foundational discovery in medical science.

In 15 years I hope to be...

A biomedical engineer, neurosurgeon, or ophthalmologist. I would love to work in the medical field, either helping behind the scenes or through direct interaction every day.

Don’t think too hard about going out on a limb and taking a risk. Just do it."

Meet the Mentor

Tesha Alston Dampier

3M Senior Quality Engineer, Biopharmaceutical Purification Business

Through effective problem solving and opportunity-mining, Tesha Alston Dampier has excelled in various roles—from biochemistry to engineering—over the past 14 years at 3M.

Learn More