Valentina Cano

Computer Science and Development Studies student at Brown University
from Caracas, Venezuela

About Me

Hola! I'm Valentina.

I'm a junior at Brown University studying Computer Science and Development Studies– a mix of sociology, economics, political science and anthropology focused on developing countries.

I'm really excited about education technology, intersectional mental health, international development, data science, human-computer interaction, UX design, 3D printing, and all the different ways in which tech can be used to help communities. My goal is to work towards improving equal access to quality education, healthcare and technology around the world.

Here's my resume if you'd like to take a look!



Research Assistant for the Brown Human Computer Interaction group, on a project that words on predicting mental health issues from naturally-occurring social and health-tracking data.
Skills: Python
Research website


Mental health intervention with a pulse sensor, mood light orb and emergency-button watch that promotes mindfulness and provides help for anxiety disorders
Skills: Arduino, Python; 3D printing, laser cutting

Documentation blog

Facebook Data Analytics

Do Facebook Users Care About the Data Use Policy?
Data Science research which analyzed the effects of privacy concerns and data use policy change on user growth, engagement and retention, to improve Facebook's Growth strategy.
Skills: SQL, Python, Tableau


Design and wireframe for DjUp, a mobile app that crowdsources the music playlist at a party.
Skills: Illustrator, Invision


Distributors Portal

New route and territory planning software built for small distributors in Latin America to be able to visualize enterprise supply chain management software (Spanish).
Skills: Axure, HTML/CSS



Word suggestion engine built in Java with: underlying recursive prefix tree (trie) implementation; suggestions based on Levenshtein edit distance, prefix matching and whitespace testing; rankings by unigram and bigram frequency.
Skills: Java, HTML/CSS/JS
README (Code sent upon request)


Chrome extension that adds a quote to any mention of Nicolas Maduro (Venezuelan president) on a webpage.
Skills: JS

Github code


UNIX shell implementation in C from scratch with: command line parsing, basic commands, I/O redirection, signal handling, foreground and background job control.
Skills: C

README (Code sent upon request)


Dynamic memory allocation process implemented in C using a first-fit explicit free list strategy.
Skills: C

README (Code sent upon request)


Here are some papers I've written, related to development and Venezuela.

Classism, Racism and the Complexities of Afro Latinidad: History of Whitening, Black Political Movements, and Reggaetón
Is classism and racism intertwined in Latin America? How do we understand race politics in a region where the majority of the population is mixed between White, Indigenous and Black? Is Latin America "café con leche" or "café y leche"? How does reggaetón represent Blackness? This paper seeks to provide an overview of Afro Latinidad from the lense of history and music.

Commodification of Nature and Society, Identity and the Multidimensionality of the Anthropology of the Good
How do anthropologists study the "good?" How does a good become a good? How is it enmeshed in social, political and material processes? This paper three ethnographies to illustrate how anthropology teaches us to "think constellationally," and how the commodification of both nature and people play an important role in the understanding of goods.

Regional and National Divergence in Afro Latin American Identity
This paper explores whether or not there exists a monolithic conceptualization of Afro-Latin America in history and society using multiple academic books in conversation with the Venezuelan novel Cumboto, arguing that there is no single definition for Afro­ Latin Americans, given its complicated history of unspoken racism and racial mixture that make it difficult to forge a unified identity.

Social Movements as a Response to the Weakening of Institutional Accountability in the Era of Globalization
Using the examples of the human rights and environmentalist movements, this paper explains how contemporary globalization has come with a weakening of institutional accountability which generates countermovements to express social and political inconformity.

Socialism of the 21st century: An Analysis of Rawlsian Justice and Freedom in Venezuela
In 1999, Hugo Chávez became president of Venezuela and implemented a new political system called "Socialism of the 21st century." In theory, this political model seems to be consistent with John Rawls' definition of justice and freedom. This paper argues that in practice, this political system fails to achieve true justice in the economic, political and social realm.

Good Governance, International Aid and its Implications for Development
By exploring different points of view in regards to the question of international aid in developing countries, and using Chile as a case study, this paper argues that democratic accountability and good governance are essential for development; therefore, international aid should be focused on building state capacities.

Venezuela Case Study Data Analysis
This study takes eight different data sets (GDP growth rate, fuel exports as % of merchandise exports, inflation, intentional homicides, gini coefficient, % of poor households, debt stock and government spending as % of GDP) to analyze how globalization has affected Venezuela, in relation to the political and economic measures that its government has taken in the past years.



With the Brown Entrepreneurship Program, I've organized fun events for students interested in entrepreneurship such as Startup@Brown, startups trips to Boston, New York, and Providence, a Summer Fellowship program in San Francisco, and talks!

I've written some articles about entrepreneurship in Venezuela, and other countries, for 1790 Media, a program designed to expand entrepreneurship's footprint to underrepresented minority, female, and liberal arts students through education and mentoring. I will be working as their International Editor until I graduate from college!

In the Brown International Scholarship Committee, I participated in the Projects team, which provides grants, events and a mentorship platform for students to pursue a great range of projects with international impact. This year, I designed and now manage the Squarespace website!

I've also gotten involved with a company called Navtalent that connects talented engineers with cool startups. As an Associate, I get to interview my peers at Brown and RISD to find their best fit.

Diversity in Tech

During the summer of 2016, I worked at Facebookin the first class of the Facebook University for Analytics program, designed to provide exposure to students who are historically underrepresented in this field.

With Mosaic+, I had the chance to be a mentor for computer science students, and share my experience and advice with two awesome mentees each semester. This awesome initiative seeks to provide support to students from underrepresented racial minorities in the CS department.


In fall 2015, I worked as a Teaching Assistant for Brown's largest introductory programming class, CS15. I think it's really cool to help people who are starting to learn CS and show them how many amazing opportunities there are inside this field. Apart from TAing, I've also worked as a Middle School math tutor in Providence.


I like to travel and explore the world through food, music, hiking and people. Here are a couple pictures of me doing stuff I enjoy.