Why did you choose UC Irvine for your M.S. studies?
I went to UC Irvine for my bachelor’s degree. Although I was not majoring in informatics at the time, I was minoring in digital information systems, which is offered within the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences. I had the opportunity to take informatics courses and met some of the faculty along the way through my minor. I loved the subjects I was learning and found the professors to be informative and extremely supportive.
What has been your favorite class so far, and why?
My favorite class that I have taken so far is Computer Law, which is taught by professor David Kay. Ever since I graduated with a B.A. in criminology, law & society, I have always been thoroughly interested in the synergy between the law and computers and found this class to meet my interests. We learned about a variety of computer laws that deal with matters such as intellectual property, free speech, privacy and computer crimes. Aside from the interesting subject matter of the course, I appreciated that professor Kay gave us the opportunity to study and present a subject of our interest within computer law to our fellow classmates. This requirement of the course provided each of us the opportunity to teach and learn something new from each other.
Have you done an internship?
Have you been involved in research? If so, what project, and in what role?
Currently, I am in the process of working on my master’s thesis with my advisor, professor Gloria Mark. My research will focus on the subject of cybercrime victimization among college students.
What has been the best part of your experience so far?
The best part of my experience so far has been the people I have come to know within the informatics department. I have made some great friends within the department (both M.S. and Ph.D. students) who have been pillars to lean on when I needed advice and support. I have been given the opportunity to get to know some faculty members through the courses I have taken or work I have done with them. The faculty members I have come across have been some of the most encouraging professors I have ever met in my entire collegiate career. Additionally, the department’s staff is exceptionally helpful and always there when you need something handled.
What has been the most unexpected part of your experience?
The most unexpected part of my experience so far would have to be the number of project courses that are required in order to complete the program. In my undergraduate career I was faced with group projects occasionally, but within my current program I have done group projects that are required, which have not been the easiest to manage at times. The great lesson to learn from group projects is that it is essential to know how to work and communicate well with your group members, no matter how big or small the team may be.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I would like to follow in my father’s footsteps and receive a Ph.D. so I can become a professor. I have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to be a teaching assistant a few times during the first year of my program, and it has been such a gratifying experience so far. Education has played such a vital role in my life that I cannot imagine a world where I am not constantly learning new things and being able to positively affect other people’s lives through my work.
What is your advice to prospective M.S. students who may be interested in the program?
Prospective M.S. students should be sure to do their research by visiting the school, looking at the courses offered and looking at the profiles of faculty members — i.e., for M.S. students interested in doing research to see if their research interests align with a given professor.