Hey everyone, I’m Chris! I’m currently a Junior computer science major from Upstate New York and really enjoy art. Throughout elementary, middle, and high school, I loved taking art classes. I extended that love into music as well and played the violin for eight years. Coming into college, I really appreciated how WPI ensures that its students not only focus on their major, but also supplements that education with a thorough appreciation of the humanities.
Taking art classes has not only served as a creative outlet, but also as a way to release stress and have fun. While I have taken Essentials of Art, Digital Art, and 3D Modeling, I would say that I enjoyed modeling the most. While I have never artistically modeled before taking the course, I do have some experience with CAD and frequently modeled and 3D printed engineering materials throughout my high school career. While the switch to VBrush was a very different experience, I found that I enjoyed it as much if not more than the engineering work.
Although from an outsider’s perspective, computer science seems to have little to do with art, I have encountered a plethora of scenarios where I’ve had to marry the two. In freshmen year, I worked on learning a little bit of Arduino programming and, through leveraging some open-source code, I created a very janky but functional dynamic back-light for my monitor. It changes what colors the LED’s produce depending on the exterior colors of the screen to provide a more immersive experience.
My background of web development, human-computer interactions, and digital art also led me to be the main front-end designer for a bunch of projects. I’ve done a wide array of work ranging from creating a scalable and professional UI for the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Portal used by New York State Information Technology Services, to creating a customer-intuitive interface for my Software Engineering application.
While I tend to forget about art when I think about my future in software engineering, it is definitely a beneficial skill to have on hand. From designing UI to organizing code to more general skills such as designing PowerPoint presentations or advertisements, a background in art is a strong skill to bring to the table.