Programmer Nicole Mah makes complex concepts easy to understand for users
November 16, 2023
By Yuri Bult-Ito
Nicole Mah first joined ACEP as a student while pursuing her degree in computer science at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Mah, together with fellow student Tuva Granøien, worked on the Community Energy Awareness project as part of their computer science capstone course, which included intensive research, development and collaborative efforts to establish the groundwork for their intended application software.
The result was the Community Energy Awareness App for the community of Kotzebue. The app presents community’s energy resources and real-time usage to community members.
The project and Mah’s work ethic solidified her role as a staff member of ACEP’s data team. Granøien is also a team member.
“Through her design and development ethos, the app allows community members to see how their investments in renewable energy are being used ‘right now’ and then make informed decisions for their household, their utility and their community," said ACEP’s data governance lead Vanessa Raymond. “She has achieved what many have tried and failed at: making complex concepts easy to understand.”
Mah and Granøien received a prestigious Dr. Alex Hills Engineering and Civic Engagement Award for their work.
After graduating from UAA, Mah continues to work at ACEP, now in a new role as a staff programmer, specifically on the aspect of web development.
As Raymond put it, Mah “brings a clean and clear aesthetic to front end web design work.” While Mah is still committed to the Community Energy Awareness project, her role entails a more multifaceted approach. She engages in technical development, strategic planning and collaboration to ensure the app’s continual improvement and relevance.
Mah also enjoys challenges and tackling new things. The data team is in the planning phase of implementing a data pipeline from Kotzebue Electric Association’s system to the app to integrate the use of live data. Mah is embracing this new challenges and other learning opportunities as they come.
Mah is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, and grew up competitive ski racing, which led her to Alaska. She spent two years as a full-time athlete before committing to UAA’s women’s Alpine ski team in 2019.
Like many Alaskans, Mah loves skiing and the outdoors, but she shares that she also likes warm weather and beaches.