Thomas W.

Major/Minor

Junior, BS in Computer Science; Minor in Business
Completed Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) at the Boston, Massachusetts Project Center
An IQP is often called life-changing by WPI students, requiring teams to delve into a problem that matters to real people.
Project

Thomas and the other members of his team researched the redevelopment options for Boston's four Inner Harbor Designated Port Areas (DPAs). Through interviews with representatives from community groups, site visits, and examinations of solutions that have proven in other local and international areas, Thomas and his teammates presented their sponsor, Boston Harbor Now, with several options on how to utilize the vacant land within the Inner Harbor meant to protect marine-dependent industries.

Reflection

Over the course of Thomas’ time at WPI, the project-based curriculum has become second nature and allowed him to gain a better understanding of subject matter than he would through a traditional lecture or study of theory.

He also appreciates the fact that his IQP experience gave him the chance to not only become comfortable with multitasking, but also take the concept of project-based learning one step further as he and his teammates were their own guides in determining their project by the end of the term.

profile photo for Thomas W.
Hometown

Norwood, MA

Major/Minor

BS in Computer Science; Minor in Business

Project Advisor(s)
Project Sponsor
Achievements
  • Served as his fraternity's vice president.
  • Completed Student Support Network training through the Student Development & Counseling Center.
  • Mentored and taught students in local high school drumline.
Aspirations
  • Working in cybersecurity as an analyst or software engineer, while also teaching music to high school students.
6:00am

Wake up, gather documents for the day, and get ready to carpool to Union Station with another group.

8:00am

Take the express train to Boston (and don’t be late—the next train won’t come for another 50 minutes!).

9:30am

Arrive at either our sponsor’s office or the Boston Project Center, plan out the day, and start working.

12:00pm

Explore Boston to find a new place for lunch.

1:00pm

Arrive back in the office, finish up work for the day, and plan work for the next day.

4:20pm

Catch the train back to Worcester from South Station.

5:50pm

Head back to campus, grab dinner, and catch up with friends.

11:00pm

Go to bed.

8:20am

Wake up, gather documents for the day, and bike to the Worcester Project Center.

9:30am

Once everyone’s arrived, work on our report, conduct interviews, and analyze data.

11:00am

Head back to campus for lunch or try a local restaurant.

12:00pm

Review the morning’s work, talk with other teams working at the project center that day, plan work for the next day.

5:30pm

Work on personal projects and take care of anything that came up during the work day.

11:00pm

Go to bed.

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Thomas on a boat
Taking a water taxi tour of the Boston Harbor and Chelsea as part of the project field work

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guided tour of students
Enjoying a guided walking tour of Boston with the other students from the Boston Project Center

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Thomas at fenway
Attending a professional Red Sox baseball game and seeing the team win the 106 game of the season

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Thomas presenting to a community member
Working on a classroom exercise during the preparatory coursework

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Thomas presenting final presentation
Sharing the final project recommendations with sponsor contacts and guests at the Boston Project Center

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Picture of Thomas and fellow classmates in Boston
Participating in an architectural boat tour of Boston with the other students from the Boston Project Center

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Thomas working on his project
Conducting a kick off project meeting in Worcester with teammates

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Thomas at a pizza party
Enjoying a pizza party with other students from the Boston Project Center at the completion of the IQP
The IQP is a step beyond the typical project-based class in that there are zero lectures and you really have to be your own guide in figuring out what your project will ultimately be at the end of the term.