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Breathing Again! December 22, 2011

Posted by lifealgo in Personal.
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Fall 2011 is officially over!

This semester ended on a crazy note – busy, as usual, with all sorts of crazy on the side.

  • Two companies wanted to fly me out for interviews.  I couldn’t make one of them, and I had to change around final presentations for the other ones
  • One phone interview and one on-site interview… during dead week
  • Not one, not two, but 3 semester-long group projects due in the span of two weeks
  • Friend’s birthday after finals week!
  • About 10 people from my Barcelona group graduated this semester.  Whaaaaaa??

Thoughts about my imminent getting-out-of-Tech-ness aside (graduation is only one year away?!  When did this happen?), I’m pretty happy with this semester.  First off, I got 2 A’s and 2 B’s!  😀  It was also a successful semester in terms of personal, professional, and interpersonal matters.  I’ve achieved goals in all 3 categories: I maintained my weight during the whole semester, got an internship, and I got to spend a lot of time with new and old friends alike.

It was a lovely semester overall! 🙂  Can’t wait for the rest!

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Week in Review August 29, 2011

Posted by lifealgo in Class Madness, Extracurriculars, GT events.
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The first week of this semester is over!

I’m really excited about this semester.  Only half of my classes are CS, however

  1. They’re Media thread picks (yay, Media!)
  2. The classes are taught by professors I’ve wanted to have classes with
  3. These are classes I’ve been looking forward to since my first semester at Tech

I’ve always been interested in the Media thread, and when I looked at the 4-year plans and classes I was really interested in these ones.  Now I’m actually enrolled in them! 😀  Other than that, I’m taking one lab science (2 out of 3) and one People thread pick.

Aside from that, last week I got to meet 2 of my mentees (yay!) and a lot of freshmen at this year’s Boot Up! .   I realized afterwards that I talked to everyone that went since I was a facilitator for one of our events (had I been told I was going to end up doing that when I was a freshman, I’d have freaked out!).  My event involved groups of freshmen flipping over a bedsheet that was on the ground without stepping off said bedsheet.  Overall, it was a ton of fun and I think a lot of freshmen got to know each other pretty well.

Then came the excitement from the first week.  Turns out I have about half the CS population from the Barcelona 2010  group in one of my classes, and I’ve run into a bunch of other people from that group just walking around campus.  I’ve also caught up with all the peeps who were away this summer interning on the West Coast or who trailed off to Barcelona (hooray, BCN!).  On our first day a group of friends and I decided to check out the new Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, also known as the CULC building!

That tree is boss

View from the top

They're really pretty!

Gardens at the top of the CULC

As a way to cap off our first week back, a group of us decided to climb Stone Mountain.  We had a little BBQ before trailing up and seeing the Atlanta skyline in the background.

If only Roca had been there...

We also got under a rock/cave!

This semester just got off to a great start!

CodingSkills++ August 20, 2011

Posted by lifealgo in Computing, internship.
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My internship at CareerBuilder.com has ended 😦

If I can only say one thing about it, let it be this: holy cow, I learned a lot!

Spending 12 weeks of this summer just coding has improved my programming skills and made me much more confident in my coding capabilities.  It’s kind of interesting how my internship project went through the same motions as my CS classes: began with a “Hello World” tutorial to get used to VisualBasic.net and Visual Studio (<3), started getting used to the visuals of javascript (CS1331), coded up BFS (CS1332)…

Either way, I’m ready to take on the rest of my career*!

CareerBuilder

Interns Fender, Leah, and I at CareerBuilder

*no pun intended, I promise!

Review: Tapia Conference May 29, 2011

Posted by lifealgo in Conferences.
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The 2011 Richard Tapia Conference for Minorities in Computing was pretty fantastic!

This year the event took place in San Francisco, California.  A group of about 20 students were sponsored by the CoC’s Office of Outreach, Enrollment, and Community, and we were really excited both about the conference and the city.

Cool peeps match their shirts!

Our group at the Tapia Conference

I actually wrote a small blurb about the conference over at the CoC’s Student Community page.

Always happy to report the student's POV!

This is what I wrote:

The 2011 Richard Tapia Conference for Minorities in Computer, held April 3-5 in San Francisco, was host to a well-represented group of students from the College of Computing. The event attracted over 500 attendees; Georgia Tech had one of the largest university group at the conference with around 20 individuals in attendance. Students were also invited to the pre-conference Empowering Leadership Alliance meeting, where they were able to personally converse with Doctor Tapia and attend additional talks by prominent minorities in the fields of science, technology, and math.

Highlights of the conference include presentations byBlaise Aguera y Arcas (Microsoft), co-creator of Photosynth, a favorite among computational photography students; Illya Hicks, associate professor in the Computational and Applied Mathematics Department at Rice University, who spoke of football and graph theory; and Patty Lopez (Intel), founding member of Latinas in Computing.

In addition to being one of the best represented universities at the conference, Georgia Tech was also a crowd favorite: a grad student’s research won the People’s Choice Award at the ELA poster showcase.

See photos from the event on the College’s Flickr site.

I was actually able to meet Dr. Tapia in person at the ELA event!  The talks and presentations were all inspiring, thought-provoking, and, in some cases, humbling.  They definitely sparked a lot of discussion among the group of students I traveled with, yet I can definitely say we all left with the same inspiration: no matter how underrepresented we are in the field of computing, this in no way undermines our ability to succeed.

Hooray for randomly awesome friendships!

Tech friends and me with some new friends from the University of Illinois - Chicago!

Programming Summer May 28, 2011

Posted by lifealgo in Computing, Personal.
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I got a summer internship at CareerBuilder!!!!! 😀

I’ll be starting this June and probably working up until classes start… so excited!!

More about that in the future, as well as that Tapia post I promised a couple of posts back.  Lots of good pics are involved 🙂

Tapia Conference OEC Scholarship March 6, 2011

Posted by lifealgo in Conferences.
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The Richard Tapia Conference is a computing conference catering specifically to Hispanics, African Americans, and other underrepresented minorities within the realm of computer science and its related majors.  This year’s conference will take place during the first week of April in San Francisco.

Obligatory Golden Gate picture

 

The Office of Outreach, Enrollment, and Community (the ones in charge of all student organizations + recruitment events and programs) had enough funding to cover the attendance costs for about a dozen or so students.  I filled out a short application for the OEC travel stipend, and was greeted with the following dialogue the following day:

Friend: “Hey Cristy, have you checked your e-mail?  Tapia decisions were sent out.”

Me: “Oh… no, I haven’t.  I guess I’ll check my e-mail after my Physics test, since I only have 20 minutes left to study”

*Five minutes later*

Jen from OEC: “Hey Cristy, I need you to send me your travel information ASAP, thanks!”

Me: ” 😐 Guess I don’t need to check my e-mail”

Either way, I’m going to California!!  I’m really looking forward to attending the conference, especially since part of the OEC scholarship includes going to a pre-conference event where we’ll be able to meet Mr. Richard Tapia himself.  Also,ever since I was little my mom has talked to me about California, particularly LA and San Francisco, so I’m really excited about the idea of exploring the area a little bit with a group of awesome people.

I’ll try to update during the days of the conference or at least make a decently-sized post after the conference.  Expect lots of pictures! 🙂