Growing in Computer Science

Growing in Computer Science

In the photo above: Computer Science Freshman Jack Delaney (left) with Ph.D. student Pantea Habibi (right).

Upon receiving the UIC Rising Star Intern position and placement details from Professor Chattopadhyay, eight weeks of my summer semester was spent in the Electronic Visualizations Laboratory (EVL) on campus. Under the first-year exclusive internship program, my intention was to experience CS work without artificial hurdles like those crafted in classroom environments.

Since EVL is all about building experimental projects based on students’ ideas, the educational possibilities were endless. After being assigned to work under Pantea Habibi, I had learned HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, while practicing and becoming more comfortable with terminals, scripts, secure shells, and git.

However, in the long run, the skills and concepts I had obtained were dependent on how we saw fit to tackle our project; that is to say which language to use, platform, specific software, etc.

In any Computer Science curriculum, tasks pinned to students are guaranteed to be solved in an isolated but intended way, related to the lesson being taught. Work outside the safety of classroom settings only exists because there is no popular solution at hand. Thus, during the end of my internship, I had realized that it really didn’t matter what skills were refined or gained, it was more imperative to be able to design a working solution that’s both logical and straightforward.

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