Mike Calder, '15

Hometown
Burlington, Massachusetts

Year of Graduation
2015

Degree 
BS, Computer Science

Why did you choose to attend WPI?
I liked the idea of a quarter-based class schedule with a low student-faculty ratio. I felt like I’d rather focus in on three courses at a time than have to juggle five, and I’d get to take twelve classes each year instead of ten. I knew WPI had a very strong Computer Science program, and I also remember feeling very comfortable when touring the campus.

How has WPI’s philosophy of Theory and Practice, and working with teams, been beneficial to you during your time at WPI?
Classes at WPI have taught me how to apply textbook knowledge in real-world situations. For example, I took a course with professor Gary Pollice where I worked in a fifteen-person software development team learning not just how to program, but also how to be an effective team member. WPI’s “Theory and Practice” philosophy has allowed me to be confident that I can apply what I’ve learned in a meaningful way.

What do you think are WPI’s greatest strengths?
WPI excels at making students feel prepared when they graduate. Graduates have had experience working in teams and completing major projects. Teachers care about their students and work hard to see them succeed. The career fairs and Career Development Center enable students to gain significant work experience before they graduate and help students put together impressive resumes.

What are your research projects at WPI?
For my Interactive Qualifying Project, I’m working in a team designing a Music Technology Kiosk for the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Division Conference to be held in Baltimore this coming February. Professor John Delorey is the advisor for the project.

How have WPI’s Computer Science professors impacted your studies and your life?
Kathi Fisler was one of the first Computer Science professors I took a course with at WPI. I enjoyed her class so much that I selected her as my academic advisor, and since then she has helped me plan out a very strong path for the rest of my academic career. In addition to Professor Fisler, I’ve had many other professors take a strong interest in helping me succeed both in and out of the classroom. Their assistance and attention has driven my confidence in both my classes and internship opportunities.

What do you hope to do after you graduate? What would be your ideal job?
I hope to work as a Software Development Engineer, possibly in the healthcare industry. During my summers at WPI I interned as a software developer at a small healthcare security company in Lexington, MA. I’ve gained a lot of valuable experience there and have greatly enjoyed the work.

Groups or extracurricular activities you participated in at WPI:

  • Upsilon Pi Epsilon, Computer Science Honor Society – Vice President
  • Sigma Pi Fraternity International, Gamma Iota Chapter – Events Chairman
  • WPI Club Tennis Team – Competitive Member

Academic or professional awards you have received:

  • Charles O. Thompson Scholar – superior academic accomplishment by a first-year WPI student
  • WPI Dean’s List – every semester to date
 
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