Author Archives: Andrei Papancea

Updates, updates, updates

Long time no see!

Lots of (exciting) things have happened since I last posted, so get ready for updates.

One of the biggest piece of news is that I got appointed as a graduate research assistant. This gave me the opportunity to work with a lot of brilliant people on very engaging projects. Due to my experience as an intern with the Digital Science Center and the Science and Engineering Library, I became more structured and thorough in the way I do research.

Internship search was a big hassle overall! I had quite a few interviews, but due to the busy nature of any Columbia student, I found it hard to prepare properly. The result was a series of rejections until I finally decided to sit down and study for an upcoming interview with Bank of America. Thanks to Ellie and Jeffrey, my supervisors, I managed to identify, correct and/or improve on a series of bad interviewing habits. And it worked! I’m going to be an software engineering intern for the summer in the Global Markets and Technology department.

With regards to the DS Internship (cause this is what I should writing about, no?) has been going good as well. Scheduling tweets is now officially in the job description and configuring or analyzing social media is getting close. I say this because it’s more and more interesting how institutions that are known to focus strictly on print materials (i.e. libraries) are becoming (and need to become) power users of the digital world. This semester I got to host a workshop on how to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop “not just for making pretty pictures”, in other words a guide for scientists and engineers. This was my fourth workshop of the sort and the attendance was quite good. I still need to work on my “workshop-giving” skills, since I have the tendency to skip steps that to me are natural, but that to beginners are not quite as intuitive.

What’s next? I still want to learn 3D software and develop a mobile application that enhances students’ experience in NYC. I’ll keep you posted on the progress!

Andrei

An Introduction and Early Reflections

Dear fellow readers,

My name is Andrei Papancea and I am an international student from Romania, pursuing a Master’s in Computer Science. When I first came to New York and more specifically to Columbia, I was overwhelmed with the amount of things that I could and had to do. Slowly though, I got to realize that it actually isn’t that bad and that the key is the classic idea of finding the right balance between work, sleep, and recreation. Now, most of you will probably be like “duh!”. Yes, I do know that that’s how it works usually, but Columbia is the first place where I have been truly challenged and it’s a rather interesting feeling.

Enough with the introspection though! I’ll lay out my work background and how I am contributing to the Digital Science Center and the Science and Engineering Library.

I’ve always been passionate about computers and technology, and since eighth grade I have been developing and designing websites for companies and various organizations: from schools and businesses, to political parties and non-profit organizations. When I applied for the DSC Internship I thought that I will probably get to create a bunch of web applications to enhance the student’s experience and productivity. To my surprise though, I got to see how much more the library provides besides just reading materials and software. I got to learn that there is a constant need for workshops and seminars on how to use the library’s services. I also got to learn that the library is “going social” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in order to better engage with the students. Nonetheless, the library has a 3D printer that will be used to print the best 3D designs that students submit, and inherently to push students to learn 3D software — the incentive of having my design printed is definitely all I need.

So far I’ve been scheduling tweets, configuring the social media accounts to coordinate with each other — a trickier problem than you’d think, branding the social media platforms, creating posters, researching high-computing services that other schools offer, creating a comparison chart for the TeX software that we offer, scouting for engaging Instagram accounts, writing reports about the resources currently offered by the DSC and more!

What’s next? I want to learn 3D software, design more things, increase the reach of the DSC on the social media platforms, and maybe develop a mobile application to spread the word about the Digital Science Center and the Science and Engineering Library’s services to even more students.

I’ll keep you posted!

Andrei

P.S. Just to clear out some popular questions: no, I don’t speak Russian, and no, vampires are not real — but I do live 30 miles away from Dracula’s castle!