My last four years

I am done with my undergraduate education. These last four years have gone by quickly and the following is a short retrospective on both my personal and academic life.

The following are the best classes I’ve taken at CMU; I learned something during these classes and enjoyed it too.

  • 15-251 Great Theoretical Ideas in Computer Science (von Ahn)
  • 15-410 Operating System Design and Implementation (Eckhardt)
  • 57-209 The Beatles (Schultz)
  • 60-412 Interactive Art & Computational Design (Levin)

In general, I found more classes annoying than interesting, more tedious than educational, but I guess it’s all part of the process. I met and interacted with lot of cool students and professors from whom I learned both personally and academically. I really enjoyed my independent studies with Eric Paulos and Stacie Rohrbach. I question my decision to receive my HCI degree but if nothing else, I met a number of neat people with similar interests. I was a purely technical student coming out of high school (math and sciences) but that definitely changed over the last four years as I poked around the design spectrum.

I got a bunch of teaching experience, year and half of tutoring and another year and half of TAing. This was definitely a cause of lot of frustrations: grading, bad professors, and students who didn’t care about the subject matter, only about getting the homework completed. But it also felt right interacting with the students who did care, definitely something I want to pursue in the future.

I will never regret my decision to join Soundbytes, my a cappella group, from semester one. I met some of the coolest people I know in the group and really enjoyed being a part of something family-like. We had our ups-and-downs but that’s all part of the ride.

With the CMU name tag, I was able to score nice summer internships at Apple and Facebook. My summers provided great exposure to the industry as well as the west coast. In August, I’ll be starting full-time as a User Interface Engineer at Facebook, more or less continuing from last summer.

I don’t know if I’m going to return to academia in the future, perhaps for a media arts program or what not, but I’m ready to move on after classes. There’s something exciting about school, with all your projects, deadlines, and social life as well. But I’m ready for the post-college life. Let’s see what happens.

I know you have something to say
  • Philip Su

    Cool bit about Soundbytes. I’ll have to check out that music. Was a big fan of Johns Hopkins’ Allnighters — have you heard much music by them?