Student Profile: Aaron Rodriguez
Last Updated on October 09, 2019 at 12:00 AM
Originally published October 09, 2019
By UC Staff
Aaron Rodriguez is a senior computer science major who wants to enhance the tech industry's footprint in El Paso.
Name: Aaron Rodriguez
Major: Computer science
What high school did you graduate from? When? Immanuel Christian School, May 2016.
What drew you to UTEP? Individuals who introduced me to their campus research that involved creating virtual reality (VR) applications drew me to UTEP. I thought their work was innovative. I also felt a strong sense of community at UTEP, which made me want to attend even more.
What have you enjoyed most about studying here? I have enjoyed meeting new people who share my interests. These people also are deeply passionate about computer science. They look forward to any engineering challenge.
In which extracurricular activities are you involved? I am involved with a Computer Science research team called the Interactive Systems Group (ISG), where we conduct research on interaction models and interactive systems engineering. Additionally, I am a member of GameBuilders!, a UTEP student organization that helps students develop their game-design skills.
What is your favorite place to relax or study on campus? My favorite place to study on campus is wherever my friends are! Also, there is this beautiful area in the center of the Geological Sciences Building that is a great place to relax. Lastly, I like the study area near the Starbucks in the Chemistry and Computer Science Building.
What has been your favorite class so far, and why? My favorite UTEP class so far has been a Computer Science elective titled “Human Computer Interaction.” I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the best practices and studies to put in place when creating user interfaces and programs that interact with humans. I believe this is one of the most important aspects of Computer Science because it is the medium through which complex computer hardware and software can communicate with any type user.
Tell us about a hands-on learning experience you have had at UTEP? At UTEP, I was able to help develop an application that studied how students can learn historical events through their participation in the actual event in VR with a pedagogical virtual agent. This increased my skills in software development.
Tell us about undergraduate research opportunities you have taken advantage of at UTEP? As a member of ISG, I have been able to attend conferences in Southampton, United Kingdom, and Glasgow, Scotland, to present ISG’s ground-breaking research. I thank Dr. (David) Novick and Dr. (Nigel) Ward, the professors who lead ISG, because these opportunities would not have been possible without them.
What are your career aspirations? I aspire to get a graduate degree in Computer Science at UTEP once I complete my undergraduate courses. I also want to continue working with a local tech startup called “Boost Human,” which makes XR (mixed reality) applications for various industry needs. I want to stay local because there are very few local tech companies in El Paso. Boost Human is becoming a dominant global tech company, which already has had a positive influence on El Paso’s community and culture.
What is your favorite UTEP event, and why? My favorite UTEP event is “Up All Night” because it’s fun to study for finals with classmates and friends, and at the same time you get to eat and listen to energetic music. Every UTEP student should attend “Up All Night” at least once. It definitely will generate great memories.
What advice would you give to an incoming UTEP student? The advice I would give to an incoming UTEP student is to get involved in campus research and organizations. UTEP has unrivaled professors who lead outstanding research in their respective fields. Incoming students should jump into this research as it can hone their academic knowledge. Not only that, but getting involved in UTEP research teams allows students to run in the same academic ranks as other research teams in R1 universities.
What is your best UTEP memory so far? My best UTEP memory is going to a GameBuilders! event called “Game Night.” The organization members got together to highlight the games we had made during the semester, and then we relaxed by playing games like “Super Smash Bros.” and “Mario Party.” It was an unforgettable time. I still think about it.