In this assignment, I learned how being a member of the faculty at UCSD is more than just teaching. I have found that it takes tremendous knowledge and expertise in a teacher’s respective field in order to be a professor. The professors and faculty members use this knowledge to educate students so that they can perform well and succeed with their studies. However, most of the faculty are also involved with research. The research done is not simply a science project for students to see. The research that these professors are doing are life-changing projects. From building supercomputers to improving internet security, they are studying material not in the classroom and are encouraging students to do the same. Therefore, being a part of the staff at UCSD requires more than having a teaching credential. Being on the staff means that you have a mastery over and are willing to further the study of your subject. Whether it is finding out new ways of how humans think or creating applications for millions to use, a person on the UCSD staff, or any university position for that matter, is an individual passionate about their field and is looking for new ways to expand it.
Kimberly Claffy is currently an adjunct professor at UCSD. She works for the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis and is also a researcher at UCSD’s supercomputer. Professor Claffy’s field involves the structure of the internet, the analysis of web traffic, and internet security. She studies these topics to make the internet safer for people surfing the web and to secure their privacy (Claffy). I believe that Professor Claffy’s work is very important because we are living in an age where people are more exposed more than ever. We put our personal information on social networking sites, making online purchases online, and banking using the internet. Hackers and bots can access this information and use it for malicious purposes. Therefore it is crucial to have people like Professor Claffy who work with others at the university on trying to make the internet safer and more reliable for the everyday user.
Ranjit Jhala is an associate professor in the Computer Science and Engineering department at UCSD. Professor Jhala is currently working on how to improve testing software. He is trying to find more effective and accurate ways to debug and make sure that programs work. Professor Jhala knows how many people rely on software nowadays and wants to make sure that the software does not fail (Jhala). I believe that Professor Jhala’s studies are very important in today’s world because of how software has influenced our lives. Software is almost in every aspect of human society. Whether it is in business, education, social networking, or at home, software is all around us and we need it to fulfill our daily needs. Hence, it is vital that this software is reliable for the user so that it does not malfunction and create disorder in our lives. Professors and researchers like Jhala are important members of society because they make the world go round.
- How can people who do mobile banking protect their information?
- Are social networking sites, who sell our information to companies to advertise for us, safe to use? When will we know if they go too far?
- Will hackers be ever to trace/obtain our information that we store in the cloud?
- What would happen if a bank company’s mobile app does not work? How much chaos would that cost?
- Are we too dependent on software? What if some of our programs do not work? What would we do?
Technology has given human beings the ability to do many things. We are able to connect with one another faster than ever with social networking sites, voice our opinions to many people with blog posts, and make news stories accessible to everyone. However, with all this good comes some bad. Hackers are able to infiltrate computers and steal important information. Governments are able to read emails and see where people are going with. It seems that the more advanced our technology becomes, the less privacy that we have. What is even worse is how we have become so dependent on the technologies like the internet.
Nowadays, all of our important documents, numbers, and pictures are stored on our computers or on the internet (David Jr). If someone were to steal my computer, I would lose all of the vital data in my life. Hackers are getting so advanced that they do not even have to physically steal your computer. Instead, they can just simply create a virus and, if the virus goes on your computer, can steal your data.
Some technology companies are now even offering “cloud” services. In principle, these cloud services are a great and convenient idea. They allow us to access all our documents and information from a stored database from wherever we are. However, if this database were to get hacked by a group, then all of our information will be violated. Government officials could also access this information, without our consent, by asking the company supporting the cloud services to hand over the information. In some cases, governments do not even need warrants to gain access to the data in the cloud (TechTangerine).
In order to protect our privacy, we simply need to be wary of the information that we put on social networking sites, cloud services, and emails. Sites, like Facebook, should only be used to talk to friends or post pictures from an event and not for posting locations for everyone to see or inappropriate pictures. As for cloud services, if people are working on important documents that contain essential information like social security, they should not put it in the cloud. They should not even leave it on their computer in case hackers manage to gain access to their computer. The same goes for emails. People need to be extra cautious about who they send their email to and what they send in those emails. People also need to regulate the use for which they use technology. We cannot always post our location using Facebook or put all of our documents in the cloud. If we regulate our internet and technology use, we will be safer and our privacy secure.
Technology has given humans a lot of power. A lot of power to do many good things like share, process, and store information effectively and conveniently. However, with all this power comes responsibility. In order to secure what is important for work or school and to protect the privacy in our own lives, we need to responsibly share, process, and store information. We also need to responsibly regulate our technology use. People cannot be heavily reliant on new technologies because it can lead to dire consequences.
What I am surprised about:
1. I am surprised at all the opportunities available.
2. I am surprised at how easy it is to talk to the advisors.
What courses do I need to take next quarter?
How do I get into research?
One of the surprising things that I found at UCSD is how accessible it is to get peer advising. When I first came to UCSD, I realized that the campus was humongous. This realization led me to think that there would be no way that I could get one to one peer counseling to help me decide what classes to take. When I was registering for classes in my first quarter of college, I had no idea what to do. However, the peer counseling center for CSE was only a few streets away from my apartment and they were able to help me with my classes very quickly. There are multiple kinds of peer advising that deal with your major or with your respective college. Peer advising in the CSE department focuses mainly on majors involving CSE. It is for easy to make an appointment. A student can simply just call a number and make an appointment time that suits their needs. If you happen to forget to make an appointment or just happen to be near the CSE building, you can walk in without making an appointment. However, walk ins generally lead to wait times so appointments are better.
Another surprise that I discovered when I came to San Diego was how many opportunities there are for jobs, internships, scholarships, and tech events. Often in the news or on websites, I hear and read that the job market is scarce and that college students will most likely not find jobs once out of school. I came to UCSD with this perception, but after a few weeks into the quarter, my mind was rapidly changed. I kept getting around five to ten emails a day from the CSE academic advising counselors about jobs, internships, and other opportunities. They continue to regularly send these emails and are very helpful for finding out what to do on campus.
One of the questions that I have is about next quarter. I am not particularly sure about what classes to take. I know for sure that I have to take a CAT general requirement but I am pretty confused about computer science. I do not know if I have to take CSE 11 or CSE 20. I will have to make an appointment with the academic advising to check which is the pertinent class to take by calling 858-534-8872 (Academic advising).
Another question that I have is: how do I get into research? I often hear from my peers that I need to talk to professors and ask but it has led to no avail. I am determined to get into research because it will look really good on my resume. The website has a tab for research, internship, and job opportunities. There is a forum type website linked to the CSE UCSD website that posts opportunities for research called CSE Project Board (Project Board). This website is an useful tool for finding the latest openings for research.
For the most part the website answered most of my questions, but there are still some unanswered questions such as:
- What clubs for my major are available on campus?
- Where can I apply to be a tutor for math?
- Where can I get tutored for computer science?
UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering has plenty of opportunities for students to succeed in their computing careers. There are a plethora of events, internship openings, job posts, and programs to choose from. One of the internships at UCSD is the Team Internship Program. The goal of the program is to expose students to “real-world engineering” problems with a team of students (TIP). The team of students usually intern with some company over the summer and are given projects to do. The teams are usually around two to five people that have mixed educational backgrounds ranging from different degrees. What is fascinating about this opportunity is that it is a paid internship but the downside is that it requires a vast amount of time. The TIES program is beneficial to my career plans because it can help show me how the computer industry operates and how to work in a team. In order to apply for the program, you must go through an application process that includes uploading a resume online and doing an application(TIP). A good time to apply for the internships is when the internship has just been posted online.
Another opportunity that UCSD provides students is the Global TIES (Teams in Engineering Service). This program is a combination of community service and the application of engineering skills in the real world. Students are put into groups and are given projects to accomplish. These projects vary from helping the local community to helping third world countries throughout the world(TIES). To apply for the program, one must simply fill out an online application. By participating in this program, students are also given credit. This program would aid in my computing career because I want to be able to help people with the things I create. I believe that this program would give me the beginning experience that I need to be able to get a job to assist people in the future.
There are many engineering and computing clubs on campus, but the one that caught my eye was the Computer Science and Engineering Society. The purpose of the club is to create an organization of people with similar interests and help each other out. The club also provides social gatherings, activities, and many other events for computer scientists and engineers to mingle. There is also a Facebook group that notifies members of things going on around campus, internship opportunities, and jobs (CSES). I believe that this organization is crucial to my career path because it is important to have connections in college. This club will also be helpful because I can get to know people who are just like me and are taking the same classes that I am in. Anyone in the computer science or engineering departments can join the club by just going to the meetings and they do not even need any applications or resumes.
I believe that UCSD and the Jacobs School of Engineering have done a fantastic job of creating thousands of opportunities for students to partake in. Although this is a big school with thousands of students on campus with different interests, these clubs, organizations, and programs have helped students create connections with each other. UCSD has put students into the best position to succeed and it is up to us to utilize the opportunities given to us and use it to our advantage.
Students succeed in class in a variety of ways such as looking at visual images or writing down PowerPoint slides. However, I succeed by doing examples and repetition. By practicing problems that involve the important concepts of a chapter, I am able to understand the lessons. Doing examples repetitively has proven to be successful in my studies especially in doing math problems and writing essays. This method works because I am able to see how to do the process and determine what the technique is behind solving the problems. Another successful method that I apply in my education is, oddly, looking at the answer. Often when my math teachers assign homework, I cringe when I see that most of the problems that we need to do are even. I am upset when this happens because most math textbooks only have answers to the odd problems. I like to have the answers to the solutions for two reasons. First, I want to be able to see if I got the right answer. If I do a problem and get an answer, I do not know if it is right and this makes it counterproductive because I could be doing it wrong. The second reason why I like to have the answers is that if I do not know where to begin with a problem, I can work backwards to finding the solution. In classes that offer solutions to the homework I tend to do better than in classes that do not offer solutions. This fact was evident last quarter in my Math 20C class. The teacher did not offer any solutions to the problems he assigned and it led to me getting a bad grade in the class. Another thing that I have seen make a positive difference in my studies is asking questions. In my discussion sections, I am always asking questions to things that I do not know. It has been very helpful because it is always beneficial to have someone else clearly explain a problem that you are having with. These methods have helped me succeed throughout my educational life.
College is an experience in someone’s life to learn academically and to learn about themselves. One of the things I have learned about myself that has been detrimental to my college experience is time management. My lack of time management has led to countless of sleepless nights, baggy eyes, and last minute homework turn-ins. In college, there is a plethora of things going around you. Balancing school events, clubs, and friends with academics has been very difficult. Other than things going on in my social life, the classes themselves have been testing my time management abilities. For instance, my programming class constantly has projects due once a week, my math class always has problems assigned, and my general education class, that is supposedly easy, has many pages of reading to do. All of these things going on in my life, have been fighting for my time and it has been a hassle trying to organize all these things into my schedule. Although in college the academics are hard, the hardest thing about living by myself without parental guidance is managing my own time. I will continue to try and figure out how to manage my time better in college so that I can do better in my classes and have a social life as well.
A data modeler is a job in the information technology field that deals with the data given to them by their employers or clients. With this information, data modelers make an easy way for their clients to access their files, keep track of their customers, and other statistics. The degree needed for this job is at least a bachelor’s in computer science or in information technology (degreedirectory.org). In order to be eligible for the job position, data modelers must be skilled at figuring out solutions to problems. The job requires a team of data modelers to work together in a group to accomplish the task. The hours are a standard 40 hours, but if a deadline for a client or company needs to be met, then it could exceed the typical 40. Data modelers make a salary of about $80,000 to $100,000 a year (Salary.com). Although the job may seem bit bland or sound boring due to the large and difficult assignments, it is worthwhile to do because you make the databases that many companies depend on to run and operate their businesses, and the pay is pretty nice as well. Without data modelers, companies would be inefficient and unproductive because they would not be able to gather all their information in a convenient database.
A computer engineer is an occupation requiring the mixture of knowledge between computer science and electrical aspects of computing. In order to be a computer engineer, a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering is required (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Computer engineers generally work in the research and development department of companies or even the federal government. There, they design things ranging from computer chips to consumer electronics. Computer engineers work in groups or teams to accomplish a task or project (worldwidelearn). These groups can often consist of a variety of professions working together. For instance, the Apple tablet, iPad, was a culmination of computer engineers, software engineers, and design engineers working together. Some computer engineers travel to many places to accommodate their clients’ needs which can lead to long hours. The work hours for this occupation are a typical 40 hours a week, but if there is a project due, the hours could be more than that. Promotions are limited in computer engineering, but seniority in the field plays a huge part in salary and it leads to better chances of getting hired.The pay for computer engineers is pretty well off and is usually around $60,000 to $80,000 salary(bureau of labor statistics). What also makes this job fascinating is that you can help create future technologies that will be used by people everyday. In today’s world, more technologies and even regular home items are being computerized. Anything ranging from touch screen refrigerators to smart televisions have been built with the help of computer engineers. Although this is a pretty difficult job to pursue, the return of what you get back, in terms of salary, job flexibility, opportunities, and to be able to show off creativity, is worth the hardship.