Tuesday, February 4, 2020

MERGING COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGLISH IN THE LAB (CASEY WILLIAMS)

In the September of 2014, sophomore Casey Williams actually thought she wouldn’t have much to offer the lab, but in the year-plus that she’s been working here, she’s proved just the opposite.

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Sophomore and Journeyman Casey Williams
After talking to a few interns at the GIS Booth on Admitted Students Day, Williams was intrigued by the lab. “That meeting acted as the bait that would eventually get me hooked onto the lab,” Williams recalled. “A few months later, Stew sent out an email discussing the need for new interns. I felt that if I didn’t take a chance and introduce myself—even with not being familiar with any of the programs—I was going to regret it immensely. Now, I’ve been working at the lab for almost a year and a half.”

During her time with the Program, Williams worked solely on vehicle theft projects. She created DPP and DJS offender maps, while gathering all the essential data and organizing it into packets.

At the start of this year, though, Williams’ path changed slightly when she began working as a student-teacher for the game development METS Guild.


“I don’t really have a favorite project [in the lab], but I really enjoyed helping middle school student learn the ropes of game development,” Williams said. “I’m honestly a tad jealous – I would have loved having a program like that growing up!”

Williams has learned a variety of skills while working at GIS, like  creating maps and displaying data using ESRI software, but she’s also learned skills that are easily transferable to other jobs – learning how to organize information and make it aesthetically pleasing and understandable.

“I’m an English major with a Computer Science minor. I’m aiming towards a job that will involve a lot of writing and programming. Though the fields are divergent from one another, I believe they can both benefit from the skills I learned,” Williams said. “It’s obvious as to how the lab benefits my understanding of computers and programming: everything I do at the lab is on computers and I’m learning new ways to navigate them. Writing, on the other hand, has a lot more in common than I originally thought. With organizing data and making it presentable for an audience, it’s important to make sure the information is coherent and that your ideas are translated well—writing resonates with this. In order to be a good writer, you have to be able to write with an audience in mind. Communication and coherency is just as important in writing as it is in the lab.”
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