First Name

Samantha

Last Name

F.

Bio

Samantha’s academic interest is Computer Science and she will be going to college in the fall of 2016. She is a visual arts magnet student at her high school. Last year she took an interest in the Information Technology magnet courses being offered at her school. The idea of combining these two disciplines intrigues her. She thought about how understanding art and design could work together with creating an aesthetically pleasing website or a video game with beautiful characters and scenery. She talked to her IT teacher about how she wanted to take both visual arts and IT classes for her senior year and he was willing to let her enroll in an HTML and Java Script class. She is very glad to have the opportunity to explore the IT program. She recently starting designing her first webpage and found that her drawing skills were very useful when doing the page mock up for her website. Her teacher complemented her color scheme and was pleased that it tied the website together. She has experimented with Python, HTML, Java Script, and Alice. Alice’s use of visuals to teach computer science is an amazing concept and it is one of the things that inspired her to consider merging these fields. She would like to further examine how this visual approach could be expanded to other computer applications. A few years ago Samantha received a Raspberry Pi as a gift. The Raspberry Pi is a computer built on a single print circuit board and the Linux operating system runs on it. Linux, unlike Windows and Apple OS X, is one of the only GUI Interfaces that allows its users to make changes in its code. It really opened her eyes to everything that is possible once one learns a programming language. So many things are possible; creating games, making webpages, and animations. When she begins college in the fall of 2016, Samantha is considering the game development track or focusing on cyber security. She recently attended UMBC's Cyber 101 Program 2015 sponsored by CWIT and learned a great deal about our online security. Samantha heard about the security breaches at places like Target and Home Depot. What made her really start paying attention was when both of her parents' personal data was compromised during the recent U.S. government OPM cyber security breach. She hadn't realized the importance and value of personal data before. She started researching about other breaches and was surprised at how frequently they occurred and the impact it has on a person's life. After attending the Cyber 101 Program 2015 program, she has a clearer vision of how she would like to become a part of the Information Technology workforce and the importance of women entering this field of study.