David Hamblin, who is a senior this year, worked under Dr. Wang with the Atmospheric Sciences Data Center (ASDC) at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA.
“Continuing the work of alumni Matthew Rutherford and Nathan Typanski, Elliot Rieflin and I worked on the project MapGen, which Matt wrote his thesis about. We used the Python programming language to implement solutions to remaining issues, utilizing artificial intelligence algorithms such as natural language processing and naive Bayes. Basically, Elliot and I worked at a desk in a building at Langley Research Center, working on our sections of the program and meeting with the ASDC group once a week. What we worked on, when all of the parts are finished, will be delivered as a final product to the group at NASA for them to use.
“My background from CNU in Java programming and what I learned in such classes as CPSC 360 and 420 allowed me to pick up on Python quickly, and analyze the algorithm I used. It’s funny, I’ll be taking the AI class offered at CNU (CPSC 471/510) this coming semester, after implementing an AI approach to my work over the summer. Overall, I’d say that the skills learned in the classroom provide for a foundation to pick up the skills in the workplace very quickly, even if you haven’t used the programming language before.
“One of the biggest parts of this position is the research involved. In order to accomplish my tasks, I need to read papers and look up proven methods in order to implement something that will work. I have learned more about the Python programming language, as well as working in a group to receive feedback on my results and apply changes. It’s a glance at life after school, which is nervous to think about. I will continue working in this position throughout the school year, so I will continue to learn new things.
“Definitely, it allows me to put actual work experience down for my resume, as well as experience in skills. I am also building relationships with people who may write references for me in the future. I believe that this job is a stepping stone to something much more in the future.”