My Fun-Filled Technological Summer!


This summer was filled with technology-related activities for me.

At the beginning, I continued to work on my current research project. I have been working with Dr. Gurkan Bebek in the Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics since the spring. We are trying to use social networks to track illnesses on the rise based on demographics. We have been pulling microblogs from social networks, scanning them for illness keywords, and classifying them based on locations. During the early months of summer, I used Python and MySQL to sort through the tweets in a table so we can easily organize them this coming semester.

Shortly afterwards, I began to work on my BS/MS application. If accepted, I can get my MS one year after my BS. The application required three recommendations. One of the professors I asked, G.Q. Zhang, asked me what I wanted to focus on within CS. I told him either theoretical CS or database design. He then explained how he was heading the Division of Medical Informatics where he has graduate students, assistant professors, and postdocs involved in research projects. He offered me a position to work on the database backend web software application for one of his projects. I was so excited! He told me to learn Ruby on Rails over the summer to prepare. I immediately purchased a textbook and began teaching it to myself.

When I wasn’t working on ROR, I was working on a project that I have been working on for six years. I programmed the first version in my sophomore year of high school that was used as a fundraiser. Basically, students answer questions and the algorithm determines the most similar students in certain categories. My high school programming teacher and I have been working on an enhanced version that we hope to sell to other schools.

In the last month of summer, when I wasn’t working on ROR or the compatibility program, I was programming a trivia game for my sorority’s booth at the Greek Carnival. I programmed it using JFrame via the NetBeans IDE. 

So, my summer has been filled with a whole lot of technological activities. I can only imagine what is yet to come for this coming school year!

Lauren attends Case Western Reserve University and is a 2010 Aspirations Award National Runner-Up. She wrote this blog as part of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Blog Contest.

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