Originally from Laurel, Maryland, Rachel is a Senior pursuing a major in Computer Science. When she's not studying, Rachel likes to go to the gym or play video games.


About Rachel…

When did you know that you wanted to study Computer Science?

I decided on my major around my junior year of high school. I came to UMBC as a computer science major and have had no reason to switch.

What area of Computer Engineering are you most interested in?

Computer science is a very broad topic, so I can’t say for sure which areas are my favorites. I have enjoyed working with computer security and databases, though.

Are you part of any labs, clubs or organizations on campus?

I’m a Center for Women in Technology (CWIT) scholar who gets a scholarship for helping to promote women in technology fields.  I was also in the Taekwondo club for two years.

Are you involved in any research projects?

I did research my sophomore year on collecting data from social media sites. The point of the entire research project was to be able to collect data from sites like Twitter and Facebook to monitor the impact of natural disasters on people since the easiest way to see what areas are in the most distress are to hear from the citizens themselves. Since I was new to the whole process, I worked with my partner to simply collect and sort data from Twitter.       

Have you had any internships?

I’ve had one internship so far at SAIC in Columbia, MD and plan to go back this coming summer. At SAIC I was put into a group with three other interns. Our project was to simulate hacking a 2G cell phone. My group and I had to order and modify hardware to be able to connect the phone to our computers to mess with the code. We unfortunately did not manage to hack the phone due to problems getting all the parts we needed. It was an awesome experience, though, since I got the chance to meet so many smart students and have a wonderful mentor who was encouraging and helpful.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan on going straight to work once I graduate. I think it’s important to start making money early. I’ll go back and get my masters while I work.

What is your dream job?

I don’t have a dream job since I’m pretty flexible, but as long as the work environment is friendly and I make a lot of money I’ll be happy.



Why did you choose UMBC?

I chose UMBC because I got the most financial support. In all honesty, my first impression of UMBC was that it was it was an acceptable school close to home. It took a little while to learn how good the school really is academically and socially.

What do you like about campus life?

I love having all of my closest friends within walking distance of where I live.  It makes studying and hanging out very easy.

What was your favorite Computer Science course?

My favorite CS course so far has been 313: Computer Organization and Assembly Language Programming with Professor Frey.  The teacher is fantastic and I had a lot of fun learning the material. 201 is also good because it is a nice confidence boost for anyone who has some experience in programming but doesn’t feel totally comfortable yet.

What do you like about the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (CSEE) Department?

There are a lot of opportunities for help with classes and research for undergraduates.

How would you describe the professors in the department?

I love the commitment the professors have to their classes and students. Most teachers really pay attention to the students to understand what they need. Even professors I haven’t had are very friendly and willing to get to know and help me.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

I can’t think of anything that’s not cliché, but ask questions in class. I’ve had many professors get to know me since I ask a lot of questions.