Why UC Merced
UC Merced stands out as a new school that is constantly adapting to trends in industry and academia. From my experience, a lot of the engineering curriculum at UCM are heavily applied and updated to match what is in-demand which is an advantage that current students have. I attended UC Merced for the benefits of a newer, smaller school. For example, it's got an excellent faculty to student ratio meaning a richer education experience. There's also plenty of research/internship opportunities (e.g. UROC, REUs, CITRIS) that undergraduates can participate in. It's situated in a quiet place and lacks distractions so we can focus on our school work.
Why Your Major
I pursued computer science and engineering because I am deeply fascinated by how computers work. Classes like Computer Organizationand Operating Systems uncover the internals of what really goes on "under the hood". Since it's taught as an engineering discipline here, we also learn about the circuits used to design something like a memory chip. Combined with the well-defined career outcomes that computer science can provide, I chose
to study this major at UCM.
Inspiration and Mentors
I'd like to acknowledge my mentors and professors for guiding me through my undergraduate journey. I'm grateful to Dr. Xiaoyi Lu and the PADSYS lab for proving me a research opportunity working on object detection and NVMe SSDs. My mentor, Dr. Vy Duong, actively provided guidance during my summer research experience at the Joint Genome Institute. Dr. Alexander Petersen's Spark class on "The Science of Science" was a source of inspiration for me to pursue research.
Finally, I appreciate Dr. Santosh Chandreskhar and Dr. Stefano Foresti for coordinating the CSE120 Software Engineering course which provides all CSE students with practical industry experience.
Memorable Academic Experience
My most memorable experience is the school of engineering's Innovate2Grow event held in Spring 2023. I worked with 4 other teammates to develop a solution for our client, Omron, to improve warehouse robots operating on slippery floors. I'll never forget how nervous and excited the team and I were to finally present what we have been working on for the past semester and finally see the project through to its success.
Many of the undergraduate courses teach computer science subjects at an introductory level. I aim to deepen my understanding in these topics by continue my education in graduate school. I'm currently applying to some graduate programs with a concentration in high-performance computing (my field of interest). I'll also be continuing current research projects and embarking on new research topics.