Spanberger Congratulates Congressional App Challenge Winner from Deep Run High School in Henrico County

Winner Vihaan Dutta Created an App Which Allows Students, Teachers, and All Users to Easily Sort Digital Files into Folders by Type

HENRICO, V.A. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today announced Deep Run High School student Vihaan Dutta as the Seventh District winner of the annual Congressional App Challenge. Dutta created an app to help users easily and quickly sort computer files by type.

Dutta’s app, called AutoSort, will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol and shared on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website, alongside winners from congressional districts across the country.

“For the second year, I was blown away by the creativity, talent, and technical skill possessed by Central Virginia students,” said Spanberger. “From safeguarding our national security to keeping our economy competitive in the 21st century, our ability to tackle the challenges we face in the years ahead relies on our future STEM innovators. By providing students from all backgrounds with the opportunity to sharpen their coding and computer science skills, this competition gives young Americans a launching pad to explore future careers in the many U.S. industries that rely on emerging technologies. After seeing this year’s submissions, I have the utmost confidence that our next generation of leaders will be able to creatively leverage their skills to solve complex problems. Congratulations to Vihaan, and thank you to all the students who shared their work with us!”

“During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virtual school environment had resulted in many students and teachers I know to complain about dealing with numerous digital files,” said Dutta. “Some mentioned having hundreds of files of random file types scattered around their desktops. However, a few months before, I had started using Python again to work on different projects. I realized that I may be able to use the knowledge I have attained from those projects to create a program and solve this prevalent problem. Today, after countless hours of work and design, the idea has been brought to life under the name AutoSort.”

The Congressional App Challenge is an annual opportunity for students in participating congressional districts across the country to get hands-on practice with coding and computer science. Students are encouraged to sharpen their skills and begin envisioning a future career in a STEM discipline, with an emphasis on inspiring students from communities that are often underrepresented in the tech industry.

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