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William Le

Computer Science and Engineering
Computer Science and Engineering

Why UC Merced?

I chose UC Merced because, as a modern university, it followed new trends in academia and didn't shy away from trying new things in academia and pedagogy. Alongside its location in the Central Valley, the great financial aid, and the tight-knit community, it was clear that UCM was the go-to university to study at.

Why Your Major?

When I was younger, playing games like Minecraft and Touhou Project inspired me to get into programming, hacking, and even building small hardware projects - all of which I learned on my own through trial and error. Turns out, those skills also transfer into real-world applications. I chose Computer Science and Engineering because I was interested in how modern computing worked - starting from the high-level software development practices, all the way to the low-level hardware design. I hope to use my knowledge to help develop better tools to improve productivity, as well as pass on my knowledge to those who want to get into computer science but might not have the right resources to get started.

Inspiration and Mentors

I am grateful to all of my professors and mentors here, however in particular I would like to thank Professor Cerpa and PhD Student/TA Jothi for making my CSE career worth it with his Computer Networking course. This challenging course not only flipped my perspective of networking, but also my approach to problem solving with all of the tough (but fun!) labs.

I also acknowledge Dr. Santosh Chandrasekhar and Dr. Stefano Foresti for organizing the Innovate To Grow capstone experience, which I enjoyed for the collaborative experience. It's perfectly designed to let students test out their knowledge against practical problems and create practical solutions, resulting in more experience and happy clients.

I thank Tom Wahlquist at Walpole ITS/Platform TA for my initial software development summer internship experience two years ago, which I am glad to still be a part of now. It has been a great opportunity to apply my skills to more real-world experiences, affecting and improving the work of many others.

Finally, I express gratitude to every student here at UCM (and some outside!) who have made my time here extraordinary. Many projects like my course searching and scheduling bot and the facility scraper tools have only been made possible because of their inspiration and motivation, and I am sincerely indebted to them.

Memorable Academic Experience

For me, the Innovate To Grow capstone project was my most memorable experience, working with my three other team members to build a project. We developed an employee coaching tool for US Cold Storage to improve their data entry routine over a few months, and I'll never forget the stress from meeting project deadlines and the consequent relief. Fortunately, it won 1st in our I2G track and impressed our client, making the experience all the more rewarding.

What's Next?

For now, I'll continue working at my internship/job, however, I have plans to continue my research in running small neural networks on microcontrollers and better image searching/matching. Anything's up for grabs at this point, so let's see where life takes me!

Anything else?

Take it easy!!!

Semester Year: