From Blackjack to Chatbots: Aashika Vishwanath’s AI Odyssey

A portrait of Aashika Vishwanath in front of Towne Hall
Aashika Vishwanath, CIS’26, has built an award-winning chatbot and developed a thriving AI-focused YouTube channel. (Eric Sucar)

Last year, Aashika Vishwanath, a sophomore in Computer and Information Science (CIS) wondered if she could use AI to help democratize access to high-quality educational support. “Every student deserves a teaching assistant that can guide them through their learning journey with precision and depth,” she says, “regardless of where they are in the world or what resources they have access to.”

Over the course of three, feverish days in a summer hackathon, she and her team created ChaTA, an AI-powered chatbot trained on more than 10,000 questions and answers pulled from two college-level computer science courses. “It’s always more impactful when you can be a user of the product you’re creating,” says Vishwanath. “I knew that if this worked, it would be helpful for me, as well, because I could potentially bring this back to Penn.”

Read the full story on Penn Engineering’s AI site.