- All News
- Search News
- UROP Associate Director Catalina Ormsby Receives Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award
- UROP Welcomes New Director: Dr. Michelle Ferrez
- Thirty Years of UROP: Explore More
- 30th Anniversary of UROP Program
- A two-way street: UROP Peer Facilitators support first-year, second-year, and transfer students in their research and academics — and learn from them in the process
- UROP adapts to COVID crisis
- Michael Kheir, MD
- Archived News
- Lessons from virtual summer fellowship in Detroit linger for students
- All Events
What years did you participate in UROP?
Academic year 2001-2002
What UROP Program(s) were you a part of?
I participated in UROP as a research assistant to the CPCS (Center for the Study of Complex Systems) working on a computer modeling of agent based systems under the late, great Rick Riolo. The CSCS used computer programming, primarily Objective C and SWARM, to model behaviors and interactions of individuals within a particular environment.
What made you choose UROP?
The UROP program appealed to me at the time as a way to enrich the educational experience that the University offered, while getting hands-on exposure to academic research. This was an unparalleled opportunity that simply could not be matched through any other avenue.
What do you think you have learned from your UROP experience?
Beyond the deepening of understanding and use of computer coding languages, the interactions with Professor Riolo and the rest of the CSCS team really opened up my mind to the greater potential of human understanding that we have, and the depth of intelligence that existed within the University, studying some of the worlds most critical and complex dilemmas, of which there are no current solutions - and in some cases a lack of sufficient comprehension of the source of the issue.
What is the extent to which you have kept in contact with your Research Mentor?
After the UROP program ended, I stayed on at CSCS performing various tasks to help the team there, and maintained my mentor as a reference for job applications, exchanging the occasional email to keep in touch.
How did your UROP experience shape or inform the next steps you took in your academic and professional journey?
My UROP experience opened me up to systems thinking, and is something that I have taken forward into my professional and personal life. Each decision causes a change which causes another decision, both for yourself and also someone else, and that carries on down the line.
What advice would you give to a current UROP student?
It is trite, but true - anything worth doing, is worth doing well. You will get out of any experience what you put into it, so if you commit only partway, you will receive only part of the benefits. If you commit fully, you will be rewarded fully.
What are some recent publications or accomplishments that you are proud of?
My most prideful accomplishments are a loving family with two bright young kids, and continued gainful employment in an industry that makes things. While I truly enjoyed the theoretical work at the CSCS, there is a great pride that comes from seeing a physical product that my company has produced - of which I've been some small part in participating in.