It’s a surprisingly lovely day for October, a warm 80 degrees. The scent of fall has not permeated the air quite yet.
As my alarm rings at 9:30, I rise out of my tangled sheets and groggily get dressed, then make a smoothie for breakfast. I step out of my house and make my way to my first meeting of the day in the Joyce Cummings Center in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab on the 3rd floor. The lab studies how humans interact with computers and uses a cool technology called EEG to analyze what goes on the brain when you interact with a computer. I can’t reveal what we’re working on, but it’s an exciting new study involving ChatGPT.
After the HCI Lab, I run to my next meeting at 12 pm in the Science and Engineering Center with the STEM Ambassadors. STEM Ambassadors is a program which is part of the Center for STEM Diversity working to teach local high school students about STEM topics and motivate underrepresented groups to pursue STEM as a career. Today, we had a wonderful talk about public speaking and did a fun little exercise where we had to speak impromptu about a certain topic!
Next, I eat lunch and destress from my workload, playing piano and singing in one of the practice rooms in the Granoff Music Center. I’ve never taken piano or singing lessons, but I still find it fun to jam out to my favorite songs of the week, channeling all the stresses of whatever is on my mind into every note I enunciate.
When are classes, you might ask? Well, the first one is actually at 3 pm today: software engineering! Since I’m potentially interested in pursuing a career in this field of computer science, I’m learning about the principles and ideas that enable developers to build large scale software systems. Today, we’re learning about design patterns, which are general reusable solutions to commonly occurring problems when designing software. We’re using design patterns in our newest homework, building a chess simulator. I’m really enjoying the theory behind this class, learning how to think about my approach to writing my algorithm before jumping into writing code.
Following software engineering, I have Engineering Leadership at 4:30 pm in Bromfield Pearson. If you’re pursuing a computer science degree in the School of Engineering, this class is one choice to fulfill the ethics and social context requirement of your degree (the other being Intro to Ethics). Today we talk about how to form successful teams, and how a team can easily break down according to a certain pyramid: no trust, followed by no conflict, no commitment, no accountability, and no results. As an engineer, although you’re focusing on the more technical sides of your major, I’ve learned that learning soft skills such as conflict management and communicating your ideas are just as, if not more, critical to your job. I’m excited to take what I learn beyond this class and into the workforce.
Wrapping up my day, I get dinner from Hodge, a burrito bowl from Ciudad, and I sit in the JCC for the rest of the day doing homework and seeing all of my computer science friends walk by and say hi. I leave around 10 pm and head home to go to sleep, knowing a new day at Tufts awaits.