Overview of the Year

Spoilers: It doesn’t end well.

Summer 2019

The happy times of 2019 were quite interesting and exciting. At the end of the summer 2019 I was finishing up my internship in Bay Area, CA, working for Intuit. I was enjoying my weekends going to San Francisco, spending time with other friends, recovering from my second knee surgery and first jaw surgery, overall enjoying myself.

Me and my Friends at an amusement park Me: Spending time with friends in summer of 2019. (Not socially distancing, gasp)

Academic Year Fall 2019

The academic year in 2019 was also quite fun, I got to spend time with friends and family. I was in a new apartment by myself, playing games with friends every weekend there. I also went on quite a few trips from Grace Hopper, a trip for a scholarship to the Bay Area (again, yay Bay Area), and a last minute flight to Seattle for an interview with Microsoft. Overall was a great semester and was some of the best experiences and friends that I’ve had while in college.

Bay Area trip (top left), friends at apartment (top right), me at microsoft (bottom left), and group from UC at GHC (bottom right). Bay Area trip (top left), friends at apartment (top right), me at microsoft (bottom left), and group from UC at GHC (bottom right).

Academic Year Spring 2020

2020 started out pretty well, I was working with my senior design group on our undergraduate capstone project PUPPy. Classes went relatively well but the course load was much more difficult given that I was taking graduate courses.

Coronavirus also caused this semester to go remote. In response I baked far too many cookies at home and didn’t have as many people to share them with.

Lots of different cookies Many different kinds of cookies

But in all seriousness, I had to adjust my schedule, move home, and have been dealing with these changes to the best of my abilities.

Microsoft Internship Summer 2020

Summer 2020 is starting off remotely working from home with Microsoft. Many difficulties getting this setup but so far the experience has been going well and I’ve been enjoying the experience and am grateful to have such a great opportunity.

So What

This is the reflection part of the experience. The most significant event of the past year was probably my senior design capstone project. I worked with Dr. Atluri and three other students, Nick Engle, Meghna Gupta, and Emily Weyda. This was a research based project where we developed a machine learning solution to predict the position of a user from IMU data collected by phones. This was a very enjoyable but also intense experience.

Even though this project wasn’t an Honors experience (Only have one left and I have a fun idea for it), I have been able to learn quite a bit about what I want for my future and what I would like form a workplace. Things such as conversation style, co-worker attitude, and types of project have different views. Before I was very obsessed with being on the bleeding edge of technology and research, and after spending some time there I realize that I don’t want to do that kind of work. The amount and types of effort required for research just aren’t my style right now and I would rather work as an engineer for the next few years.

Now What

From this I learned what I really wanted to do for my masters project and have decided that I would probably like to take a break and get some professional experience before I do anything such as a PhD or further graduate school. This is significant for me because it will guide my next few years. I will probably work at Microsoft or somewhere else when I graduate instead of going back to school for 5-8 more years doing graduate work. This summer internship is remote so it has its flaws but working full time will be much much more smooth (I hope).

Next year I’m going to work on finishing my masters experience with a well scoped project with Dr. Niu. This will hopefully be a much improved experience compared to my experience with the PUPPy, senior capstone project. Big new career and academic goals, will be interesting to see how they pan out.