Summer 2008 DMP Project at Brown


My name is Olga Kuznetsova and I am a rising 5th year senior planning to graduate in May 2009 from University of Maryland, College Park. I am currently majoring in Computer Science and Russian with a minor in Physics

Career Goals

Career plans? Frankly, I don't really know what I want to do with my life. :) It sounds a little scary, but I keep trying new things to see if I can get some more direction to my life (this summer being one of those). My trek through majors in college is enough of an example of this. In high school I was always interested in programming, math and physics. I only wanted one major when I got to college, so I ignorantly decided that engineering would combine all of my interests. It took me a year of floating from Aerospace Engineering to Computer Engineering to Electrical Engineering to realize that I was wrong. I found that I didn't really want to build anything, but I did want to make things that already worked... function better. Thats where I decided on Computer Science. It is a shame this endeavor took me a while as it delayed my graduation by a year. But I did take a large variety of classes in my first year of 'floating' that gave me a good background in an array of fields.

I have had a variety of jobs not they have usually been of the nature of 'this was a cool experience, but I do not want to do this with my life'. Sad to not pick what I love doing, but narrowing down my career path is always good! Some of these experiences were working at an electron accelerator at University of Maryland, being a student system administrator, and working on a program that simulates experiments on cross sections of materials for a Materials Engineering lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology last summer. I really want to go to graduate school sometime... but I really don't know in what. I want to have a more clear direction in life before I chose to enroll in more schooling.

Nevertheless, I do enjoy programming. As most other Computer Science students will say, 'I have a love/hate relationship with Computer Science'. Working on a project for CS isn't like writing a paper. You can turn in a paper that is not up to perfection, but you just managed to type out some random words to fill up space. That is not the case for computer science. You can sit in front of the computer for many many hours, and have nothing to show for it. But in the end... the problem, whether it was a missing semicolon, or wrong logic, presents itself, and the magnificent project appears. I also love the idea of making a computer 'do things that help humanity'. Might sound simple, but really, isn't it amazing that we have created these machines that make so many things possible! I love it when I can write some code that will produce something that is useful for others. :)

Other Interests

Part of my problem is, I have a very wide range of interests outside of 'schoolwork'. I am a very 'outdoorsy' person. I love hiking, canoing, skiing, caving... basically anything involving being active in nature. I also adore doing community service--I am in Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity at my school. I also do other activities like being the legislator for the College of Computer, Math and Physical Sciences for my schools' Student Government Association, and being treasurer for my schools' chapter of Association of Women in Computing. Somewhere in there I also manage to work at the climbing wall, and occasionally back stage at the theatre. So it's a little hard to balance this huge list of activities with my professional interests.... I also studied abroad in London Fall 2007, where I took no classes pertinent to any of my majors, but it was an amazing experience, and I loved learning more about living abroad, and its something that I recommend to everyone.

Happy Browsing!

So here's to hoping this summer brings more direction to my life! :)