What C4G has done for me
One gripe that I always had with my choice of study at Georgia Tech was the fact that I could not envision how I could directly use my programming and media skills towards making the world a better place. My environmental engineering roommate has been working on a cheap, sustainable gas stove model that could be used by rural tribes in Africa over the past year. A biomedical engineering friend was part of the Rehand team that won the Inventure prize earlier this year for developing an at home hand rehabilitation device. I have several friends in medical school right now well on their way to the most traditional path of helping other people. And even in the liberal arts, there are obvious paths one could take to push forth initiatives in civil rights and sustainability.
As a computational media major, I can create “pretty” things and code. On a greater scope, I can justify that I’m making the world a better place by making better games, films, and witty posters that make people happy.
But taking this class has broadened my perspective and pushed the boundaries in how I can give back with the skills I’ve developed here at Georgia Tech. It seems so obvious now that everything computer scientists do for the corporate world can be applied to the needs of humanitarian organizations and non-profits. They need databases and systems, too. They need better, stronger modes of communication, too. And they also need human-computer interaction to bridge the gap between technology and people.
It has been incredibly inspiring to see the work that my classmates and my Act Early team have accomplished over the past semester. This class has been one of the most gratifying and rewarding classes I’ve ever taken, if not the most during my time here at Tech. Besides the general feel good feeling of working on something that helps others, I’ve also received a personal gain as it was my first direct, real world application of UI/UX and human computer interaction. Through this class and the part time internship I did this semester, I have a more clear direction of what I want to do with my degree in the future and how HCI might tie into that.
I took this class to fulfill my senior design requirement, but I’m leaving this class with much more than I ever expected. Like any other class, I began my semester with the intention of making the ‘A’. But over the past weeks, it’s turned into something I truly want to spend my time on because it helps parents help their children, because it supports the hard work my team members have put in, and because I really enjoy the nature of the work I’ve been doing. I think the length of this blog post is a true testification to this.
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