Sara SeidlPurdue CS: Tell us about yourself.
SS: I'm Sara from a tiny but beautiful town in Austria, called Maishofen. Before I began my undergraduate studies at the University of Salzburg, I went to HBLW Saalfelden. If I were not here at Purdue, most likely, I would be eating breakfast on one of the mountain tops surrounding Maishofen, enjoying the view after a long hike. Ohh...stop me right there. I forgot all about the time difference. So actually (at 4pm) I would still be marching around with part of my hometown (marching) band, visiting and playing marching songs for the whole town. On the long flight to Chicago I spent 2 hours drawing. I like to do that now and then and wish that I would find the time to draw more often and maybe not on a plane.
Purdue CS: How did you become interested in computer science and research?
SS: It was about 4 years ago that I started my undergraduate studies at the University of Salzburg. Before that, there is not much that would have suggested I would pursue a career in computer science. The school I went to before leads students towards a career in the social and service sector. I also took some classes in media informatics (mainly print media, audio and video, and web technologies). I enjoyed these classes and the topics we covered and I also did very well. It was the topics we discussed regarding web technologies (more technical aspects) that got me interested in computer science. However, it was only after working for a year after finishing school that I decided I wanted to study computer science. During this year I worked in the kindergarten and an after-school childcare center. Don't get me wrong, I loved the work and the kids, but I was bored. There were no challenges and not much to think about. This eventually took me back to computer science. Solving challenging problems, trying to understand every bit (pun intended) behind the magic and the change/evolvement in the field are only a few of the things that I am excited about and creativity does not fall short.
Purdue CS: What are your future plans in the CS industry?
SS: To be honest, when I applied for the bachelor's program, doing a PhD was not even on the table. I was set on getting my Bachelor's degree, maybe even the Master's degree (but this was a big maybe) and then start working in the industry. But in the course of the past 4 years, this completely changed. I am not only considering getting a PhD, but I am also thinking about doing so abroad, which is why I am even more excited that I got into this program. This gives me the unique opportunity to experience first-hand how it is to study abroad, especially in the US. And I have to say, so far, I really like Purdue.
Purdue CS: What are you working on during the GoBoiler Internship?
SS: Yesterday we had our first meeting with the group where we talked more about many interesting project ideas. I am working with Professor Tiark Rompf in the Systems Research Group. My project is Flare, an accelerator platform than can transparently accelerate pipelines implemented in Apache Spark and TensorFlow, and provides speedups of 10x-100x.
Purdue CS: What influenced you to apply for the GoBoiler Internship?
SS: A professor at our university made students aware of the GoBoiler Internship program and encouraged us to apply. After learning more about this program I just had to apply and I'm glad I did. Of course, traveling abroad is a big step, but this should never stop someone.