Skip to content

Julian Balbuena

Computer Science and Engineering
Computer Science and Engineering

Why UC Merced?

I chose UC Merced primarily due to its location. Having grown up in bustling urban environments, I was keen to experience the tranquility of a smaller city. UC Merced's setting offers a serene backdrop conducive to focused academic pursuits, without the distractions often found in larger metropolitan areas. Additionally, UC Merced's emphasis on research opportunities greatly appealed to me.

Why Your Major?

I decided to major in Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) because of my love for technology and computing. Growing up, I've always had a strong interest in computers. So when it came to choosing my major, it's obvious what kind of career path would suit me best: one where this passion can be put to good use while also making some sort of impact within the constantly evolving field of technology. CSE was the right choice for me because it offers a diverse set of abilities that can open up numerous job paths. From making software to designing algorithms or exploring data analysis, CSE provides fundamental knowledge in computing principles that is useful in many types of work fields.

Inspiration and Mentors

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my family for their unwavering support and encouragement, propelling me forward throughout my college journey. Their belief in my abilities has been a constant source of strength. In terms of academic inspiration, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all my CSE professors, with special appreciation for Dr. Florin Rusu, Dr. Santosh Chandrasekhar, and Dr. Hyeran Jeon. Their guidance and dedication have been instrumental in shaping my academic journey, inspiring me to delve deeper into the world of computing. Thank you for your unwavering support and encouragement.

Memorable Academic Experience

A significant academic experience would have to be the semester I took Thermodynamics. I started that class with fear of failing because I had heard it was really hard. Initially I had a very hard time learning the concepts and learning thermodynamics with a mechanical engineer perspective. I then made sure to take extra time to study, attend office hours and study sessions that eventually paid off. This is a big part of my success now because after I took that class I received an offer for a research lab assistant position from Dr. Palko. This was a sign that my hard work and determination was noticed and that no matter what the struggle is just ask for help and keep going.

One of my most memorable academic experiences stems from my involvement in group-based projects during my Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) classes, particularly in my capstone class. Collaborating with my peers proved to be both exhilarating and challenging. Through these projects, I not only learned a great deal but also surpassed my initial expectations, thanks to the collective efforts of my teammates. Their support and collaboration propelled me further than I could have imagined, transforming what could have been an ordinary academic endeavor into a truly enriching and fulfilling experience.

What's Next?

After graduation, my next step is to secure a full-time position in Software Engineering. I'm eager to apply and expand upon the skills and knowledge I've gained during my academic journey.

Semester Year: