Valentina Cano

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


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

Mental health intervention with a pulse sensor, mood light orb and emergency-button watch that promotes mindfulness and provides help for anxiety disorders.

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

Distributors Portal
Wireframe and initial implementation in Java of a new route and territory planning software built for small distributors in Latin America to be able to visualize enterprise supply chain management software.

Word suggestion engine built in Java with: underlying recursive prefix tree (trie) implementation; suggestions based on Levenshtein edit distance, prefix matching and whitespace testing; and rankings by unigram and bigram frequency.

Chrome extension that adds a quote to any mention of Nicolás Maduro (Venezuelan president) on a webpage.

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

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


Brown Computer Science
I've been a Teaching Assistant for CS15: Introduction to Object Oriented Programming, and a Research Assistant in the Human Computer Interaction Lab on the Sochiatrist project.

Brown Entrepreneurship Program
I've helped organize events such as Startup@Brown, startups trips to Boston, New York, and Providence, a Summer Fellowship program in San Francisco, and talks. After that, I helped with the first draft of the Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) for Brown University’s new Nelson Entrepreneurship Center.

I've been a mentor for the Mentorship program.

Project LETS
I sometimes help with panels and last year participated in the Ivy League Mental Health Conference.

Brown International Scholarship Committee
I've been a member of the Projects committee, and currently help with maintaining the website.

Buxton International House
I'm a member of Brown's international program house.

Bloco da Brown
For a while, I played in an Afro-Brazilian drums group on campus, and my specialty was the shekere.


*Note: I would like to acknowledge my position and privilege as a white Venezuelan woman conducting research about the structures of power in Venezuela and the "developing" world. Although I am constantly trying to learn how to make space for historically silenced voices, I know I make mistakes along the way. If there is anything about my research, language, or behavior that is problematic, and you feel comfortable letting me know, please reach out to me via email, social media, or in person.

Classism, Racism, and the Complexities of Afro Latinidad: A Look into the History of Whitening, Political Movements, and Reggaetón, and their Relationship to Black Folklore
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 lens 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 uses 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.

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.

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.


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