I had a very impactful year at Ohio State, and I am looking forward to continuing to challenge myself and work on things I am passionate about next year. In terms of academics, I was able to take more courses in my major this year, which was both challenging and rewarding. I am also more certain than ever that I have a passion for computing, algorithms, and mathematics, and that a career in this field will be very rewarding for me.
This year, I have taken more of a leadership role in the Eminence Fellows program, and I have very much enjoyed getting to know Fellows from other classes in my role as Class Representative. In this position, I spearheaded much of the Eminence Welcome Week and the first ever Eminence Tennis Tournament. I have also taken some leadership roles in other organization on campus, including the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the Association for Computing Machinery- Women’s Chapter (ACM-W). I volunteered for both organizations this year, working with elementary and middle school girls to encourage them to learn about computer science and the world of coding. I have also been selected to attend the 2018 national Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) with ACM-W, which is an opportunity I am incredibly excited for. GHC is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists, and this year it will be held in Houston, TX.
As a part of the Eminence service initiative, our class service project, Enlighten, an anti-human trafficking organization, has started to take off this semester. I am currently the Co-President of Enlighten, and I am proud to say the organization held several successful events and made some important progress in terms of organization, planning, and goals this year. We have decided to focus on three main goals: raising awareness on campus, outreach to survivors of human trafficking, and legal advocacy for victims and survivors. I will be attending the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference next year with two other Enlighten Exec Board members to present on Enlighten, and I am very excited for that opportunity as well.
One of the more interesting things I did this year was taking a class that was not for credit. One of my Autumn semester professors who I really enjoyed having has been planning a new course on programming in Python and offered it to his students as a pilot course for Spring, for no credit. I have been interested in learning Python for a long time, and I even started to learn it on my own last summer, so I thought the course would be a great way to advance my skills. It was a great decision and I now feel very confident with Python. A few of my coding projects from the class can be found here. I ended up liking Python quite well, and am even using it to program my research project.
Which brings me to my next point, that I applied for and was hired as an Undergraduate Research Assistant this year. I am working in the Department of Engineering Education and am excited to be starting research. I am currently working on a project that involves parsing student Software Design Project programs to analyze the number of good and bad coding practices in different versions of the project. The position will continue during my junior year, and I am hoping to contribute to a research paper about my findings.
Finally, another thing I am incredibly grateful for this year is my internship this summer as a software engineering intern at a large company, Raytheon, a defense and cyber security government contractor.
Overall, I am very happy with this year and I feel like I have made progress towards many of my goals, including doing research, being involved in service projects I am passionate about, and getting an internship to help prepare me for my future career in computer science. I can’t wait to see what next year at OSU holds!