Shout-Outs to Our Community: The Sequel
Our shout-out section in the last issue was so popular, we had to bring it back for a sequel—and this time, we opened it up to the entire CICS community. Here's what folks said ...
Nicolas van Kempen is an awesome TA buddy!
Evangelos Kalogerakis has done a fantastic job at making 590G an inclusive and immersive remote learning experience. I am sincerely grateful for all his efforts!
Thank you, Chloe Eggleston, for keeping the CICS Discord server a trans-inclusive forum for discussion!
A big shout out to Professor Deepak Ganesan for all the mentoring and advising over the years. Thanks for giving me time even when you were pressed for time. I wouldn't have survived the past few years of my PhD and would have dropped out, especially Summer and Fall 2020, if it wasn't for your support. Thank you for believing in me and constantly reminding me that I will be fine.
Thanks a ton, Philip Thomas, for taking time out to answer all my questions about postdoc positions and beyond. If it wasn't for your insights, I wouldn't have considered a postdoc. I also humbly appreciate your frankness in sharing your opinions and experiences. Thank you!
Shashank Lal was a really good friend to me this semester. He helped me persevere through some really difficult assignments and exams, and I'm thankful to be his friend :).
Anna Dao worked hard interviewing and writing for the Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter, so that twice a month my fellow CICS students and I could learn more about the great strides people at our school are making towards a more inclusive computer science community.
Marius Minea is a thorough, hardworking, and unbelievably dedicated professor. I took his 250 course, the subject of which is notoriously hard. Marius would consistently answer quiz and homework questions on our discussion forum within minutes, regardless of the time of day. The work he assigned was undeniably hard, but it was also the most thorough work I've ever had to do. Doing the assignments *forced* me to understand every facet of the ideas being taught. To me, this class is an embodiment of the idea that you can learn and achieve great things through hard work, and this is in large part due to the quality and support brought by Marius.
Marius Minea is best professor I have ever had at UMass. He made online learning the best experience. Always available to help—6am in the morning or 2am at night—I don’t think I will ever have a faculty member more dedicated than he is to teaching. He cares about every individual and knows how anyone is doing at any point in the course by their name, despite teaching classes with over 350 people. I would take every class with him if I could. I have never learned more or felt this cared about in such a large class. [He's] an absolute gem of a teacher and a person. I was going to transfer out of UMass, but I am seriously considering changing my mind because I don’t think I would get this level of academic support anywhere else, especially from a professor.
Chaitra Gopalappa has pushed me to really think about what I want to do in the future and identify my goals. She has also spent her time helping me not only with my research, but also in planning my future career plans. I truly would not be where I am now without her help.
Matthew Rattigan has taken hours of time out of his day to help me to apply to graduate schools and identify what I am truly interested in pursuing once I graduate.
Michelle Trim has not only helped me through the challenging time of applying to graduate schools, but she has also pushed me to challenge myself by taking courses that would be critical to my success in the future.
I was enrolled in Emery Berger's CS326 class this semester and it was by far the favorite CS class that I have taken at UMass. Emery is funny, inspiring, caring, and just an overall fantastic professor. I really hope he chooses to teach more courses at UMass in the future, as I would love to enroll in another one.
Joseph Spitzer and Nicolas Van Kempen were the TAs for Emery’s class [see above], and they were such a huge help to us throughout the semester. They were so caring and considerate of the students, and they spent so many extra hours helping us with our homework and projects. I would not have found so much success in this class without them. I really hope to have them as TAs in the future :).
Eileen Hamel and Malaika Ross work so hard to keep the graduate program functioning! Being virtual this semester has made it much harder for me to keep track of the program logistics and deadlines, and their work (and emails) have made that much easier.