Why did you choose UC Irvine for your graduate studies?
I chose UCI because of the impressive faculty. Informatics is a relatively new field, and I'm glad I can apply my background in psychology and implement my computer programming and design skills.
What has been your favorite class so far?
I'm enjoying Intro to Ubiquitous Computing (INF 241) this quarter, taught by Josh Tanenbaum. We've been talking about some really cool (and nerve-wracking) ideas related to computing and what futures of computing might look like.
Have you had any internships or jobs?
I have had a few internships but never a full-time job. I graduated undergrad in May 2017 and spent the summer working in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon University in the Articulab. The summer before that, I had an internship at NYU with the Center for Behavioral Statistics and the Study of Motivated Perception, and the prior year, I worked as a Blue Waters Supercomputer intern through Shodor.
Have you been involved in any research?
I am still working on the project I did as a Blue Waters intern involving AR visualization, and I'm planning on releasing a related app soon. I'm also very excited to be working with Kurt Squire, my advisor, getting involved in wearable devices for mindfulness and games that assess interest. He's got some very cool, impactful projects going on that I look forward to being a part of.
What has been the best part of your experience so far?
I feel like the faculty have all made themselves readily available, and that makes me feel great. I came from Chicago, so having a support network here is very important. My professors and the other students in my program have made the transition from bachelors to Ph.D. manageable, and I don't feel like I'm in this alone. I'm lucky to be able to work with such great scholars.
What has been the most unexpected part of your experience?
The most unexpected part of this experience so far is how truly multidisciplinary the program is. Everyone in my cohort has unique interests, yet everyone feels at home in this major. Informatics gives you a platform to research and extend your interests.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I would really like to work in industry when it's all said and done. I'm not exactly sure what that will look like, but I think bringing a unique and multidisciplinary perspective into industry is vital and (hopefully) sought after.
What is your advice to prospective graduate students interested in the program?
My advice is to reach out to faculty! Don't be afraid to explore your interests, and express those interests to others. Find out what other people are working on, and reach out to them. Lots of people are up to talking to you about their research.
“Everyone in my cohort has unique interests, yet everyone feels at home in this major. Informatics gives you a platform to research and extend your interests.”