Another artifact that has played a crucial role in my academic journey as an engineering major is the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH. I had a chance to visit the research center when I was in high school and it was very influential in my major decision process because it showed me a real-life application of engineering. I learned about the prestigious research projects that NASA engineers, physicists, and biologists were working on that would give humanity more knowledge about space and the world we life in. I really enjoyed my visit, and one thing that stuck out to me was the thought that at a corporation/employer like NASA, everyone has the same goal, and everyone is motivated to learn more about our world. I hope that my years in the College of Engineering prepare me for a career at a company like NASA. This visit helped me decide that a big school like Ohio State would be a great choice because it can provide countless resources: research funds, interesting classes, employment opportunities, engaging student organizations, and more.
I just finished my last assignment for the Autumn semester, and I’m now excited to get a break from the constant grind of schoolwork. Although this semester went well in terms of meeting people, getting good grades, and staying motivated, it has made me question whether Computer Science (and engineering as a whole) is the right major for me. There were various times throughout the semester where I questioned this, most of which due to frustration with classes or lack of knowledge on something. Although I enjoyed taking STEM classes, I’m not sure if I want to spend my whole college career programming on my computer, struggling with math, or working with circuits and electronics. I did not really enjoy taking physics and math. Perhaps it is the fact that all classes are online, but I just didn’t really look forward to most of my classes, outside of my CSE class. It doesn’t help that engineering is notoriously known as the major with the largest workload.
I want to be in discussion-based classes that address issues we face, and allow me to share my views and experiences with others. In other words, all of my classes this semester were involving STEM and quantitative skills. I found this to be quite exhausting and boring sometimes, since it hardly seems that I can use what I am learning in these classes to make an impact. Of course these are just intro classes that I need to take to get into my major, but oftentimes I lacked motivation to work on some assignments. This turned into me getting distracted and not having the best study habits throughout the semester, which is something that needs addressed immediately. I cannot be successful with poor study habits.
Some other majors that I am exploring are Economics, Data Analytics, Geographic Information Systems, and FABE (Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering). I think that these fields combine quantitative skills with real-life application that addresses current issues. I have always loved geography, so GIS is especially intriguing. Even though most of these are STEM, they are very versatile in future job prospects.
Hopefully I can use this break to gain some mental clarity as to whether CSE and engineering is the right field for me. Over the break, I can work on crafting a resume, exploring different fields, creating projects, relaxing, and sleeping. I need to keep in mind that this is only my first semester, and just stick with my initial plans to see how things turn out.
One way to expand my global knowledge is to study outside of Ohio State, whether that may be in another country, state, or continent. I would like to use my position as a Scholars student to help me achieve this goal. I am also interested in Engineers Without Borders, which has taken plenty of trips abroad to bring sustainable devices and solutions to communities in need. Participating in studies abroad will allow me to better understand the world, experience new cultures and traditions, and positively impact other areas of the world.
Even though I am still a pre-major in the CSE department, I hope to be able to conduct research or work in laboratories to gain hands-on experience. I would be interested in conducting research in data science, biomedical engineering, aerospace engineering, and more. I believe that my computer science classes will prepare me for a wide range of possible careers after I graduate. Even though it is still early in my college career, I am building the foundation right now, as I have identified topics that I am interested in learning more about.
I believe that the Engineering Scholars Program at Ohio State has enriched my academic experience because it has exposed me to many real-life issues and applications of the engineering practices that we learn about. For example, through watching documentaries, designing products, and participating in class discussions, I have learned a lot about how important it is to live a sustainable lifestyle, because of the growing population in the world. I have learned about food waste, pollution, climate change, and health issues, and as a class, we have discussed what can be done to address these issues. As I progress in my studies, I am confident that my time as an Engineering Scholar will give me the necessary knowledge and skills to better address these issues. I have even considered joining student organizations dedicating to addressing these problem.
I have not been too involved with student organizations in my first semester, but I hope to join Engineers Without Borders, Artificial Intelligence Club, and perhaps the OSU Student Farm as soon as the Spring Semester. Joining these clubs will show me how my work as an engineering student can be applied to solve real-world issues in many different fields, such as Artificial Intelligence, Biological Engineering, Environmental Science, and more. Hopefully I will be able to reach a leadership position in these clubs, so I could plan events for the club, gain experience, and positively impact the community.
Throughout my first semester, I have had the opportunity to assist a local school with virtually tutoring students for 1-2 hours a week. The school I have worked with is called Metro Early College High School, and I have mainly helped students with science-related topics, like chemistry and biology. Despite the COVID-19 protocols forcing this opportunity to be virtual, it has still been a worthwhile opportunity for me, as I am able to assist students who may be struggling with these concepts. Overall, although my time available for tutoring Metro students has been somewhat limited, it is still a great opportunity for me to get involved and make a tangible difference in the schooling of younger students. I hope to continue this throughout my time as a Buckeye.
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One artifact that has played a crucial role in my academic journey is an Arduino Robot similar to the robot in the above image, which I built at a summer program. I attended the Miami University Summer Scholars Program after my junior year of high school which formally introduced me to computer science, electrical engineering, robotics, and more. The program, which was called “Engineering: Design and Build an Interactive Robot,” was a great way for me to learn by applying skills that I’d learned in the classroom. In just a two-week span we learned about how the Arduino robot works, how to effectively program it, how to assemble it, and more. At the end of the two-week period, my group built a robot that successfully completed an “obstacle course” where it used an ultra-sonic sensor and LCD display to travel in a path and turn based on whether its sensor detected a barrier nearby. At the end of the path, the robot would light up and spin around in a circle. I was thrilled when my group completed the challenge, and I was excited to have learned so much new information. At that point, when our Arduino Robot completed the course, I decided that I wanted to pursue computer science because I really enjoyed the program and felt as though I could build off the knowledge that I gained. In addition to being a very enriching academic experience, I also met many people that am still in touch with today, and it was a great opportunity to get a feel for college life. Overall, the Robotics module in the Miami Summer Scholars Program was an enriching program that has positively impacted me academically, professionally, and socially. The Arduino Robot that I built while I was there is a very important object in my academic journey.
My name is Jason Roussos, and I am from Youngstown Ohio, which is around 3 hours from Columbus. As I am writing this, I have been on campus for about two and a half weeks, and I have loved it. Leaving home was a big step for me, but I have met many people of a variety of backgrounds with who I can confidently say I connect. I think it’s really important to find a stable support group in college, and I’m glad that I put myself out there and made some great friends. I can tell that college coursework is much more rigorous and time-consuming than most high school courses, so I need to work on adjusting my schedule so I can be productive in the day and social at night. Time management is one of the most important skills to have, and I need to keep working on developing those skills to maximize my productivity. I am majoring in Computer Science and Engineering and I am a part of the Engineering Scholars program as well. So far I have enjoyed all of my coursework and I look forward to learning more about computer science and STEM in general. I want to set my sights on achieving a high GPA while also being active outside of the classroom in order to be competitive for an internship, hopefully at an aerospace company. Luckily for me, I have a lot of time to figure out what field I want to work in, but right now, I’d love to be a part of the aerospace, biomedical, or artificial intelligence industries. I am very motivated and encouraged as a student and I hope to accomplish great things during my time as an Ohio State student. I know this will take a dedicated effort, but I’m more than ready for the challenge. A link to my LinkedIn profile is here.
My resume can be found here.
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