What was your major and background? Civil Engineering
What are your interests within computer science? Data analytics and Distributed Systems
How did you get interested in Computer Science? My interest in coding stated in 7th grade when I used Turbo Pascal to write a code for generating funny images, loops, conditions and perform simple calculations. However, our school program changed, and coding was not part of our Informatics classes, so I lost that connection and didn't think about it until I started a full-time job as a Structural Engineer 10 years later. Working on calculations for loads and material strength made me realize that manual calculations that were in best case executed as excel spreadsheets could be performed by a piece of an elegant code and make lives of engineers easier. Moreover, a lot of my friends were studying CS and showcasing how they created cool algorithms to perform various tasks for them. This is when it hit me that nowadays knowing CS is a must to be up to speed with this fast-paced world.
What social interests matter to you? Empowering women in tech, particularly from 3rd world countries who have no large presence in the US.
What is your most impactful iCAN experience? It was the final project of Fundamentals of Algorithms II in Spring. Each student selected a topic from Algorithms and presented it to the class. The topics my classmates selected were from different areas, each had a practical example and pseudocode for it. It was amazing to observe how people who 2 semesters ago typed their first 'Hello, world' gained such a deep knowledge in advanced algorithms and could support conversation about classmates' selected subject. At this moment I saw how the mission of the iCAN program became reality - broad participation in CS of people from different non-tech backgrounds.
What are your hobbies/outside interests? Travel, languages, puzzles, active sports