Career Profiles

Explore profiles of real professionals and students to learn how they got started, what they love about computing, and all about the fascinating work they do.
Shuang LIU

Shuang LIU

Master’s Student, Electronic Engineering and Information Technology, Hannover, Germany

Degree(s):

Bachelor of Engineering, Xidian University, China
“Pay attention to the common things around you, you may get inspiration from anything.”

I owned my first personal computer at eleven. I was interested in playing with computers but did not pay much attention to the theories of computing. When I got a chance to take part in a national programming contest for high school students, I learned programming on my own and gained technical view of computers within half a year. Getting a prize in the contest encouraged me to become a computing student. In college, I studied electronic engineering and computer science. I am continuing my master’s study in Germany and wish to become a computing professional one day.

I spend the most time in University. While I do not have too many classes as a master’s student I still get a lot of challenging tasks. Each week I spend around 15 hours on the computer to complete project work. For a foreign student like me, language is also a challenge. I spend an additional two hours a day to improve my English and German. When I have time, I like to read magazines. Of course, I need some coffee times during work. I will always feel good spending time in the cafeteria.

My hobbies are philately and travel. I like to learn things from different areas and various cultures. Each stamp has its own story. By collecting stamps I learn lots of things from other countries and I hope this will widen my horizons. Besides, I have made many friends who are also interested in collecting stamps. We exchange stamps with each other. Another good way to experience different cultures is to travel. Every time I travel, I gain a lot. I think it is necessary for a computing student to pay attention to diversified things other than only technologies.

Working

Philately

At Leibniz Universität Hannover

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Douglas Engelbart

In 1967, Douglas Engelbart applied for a patent for an "X-Y position indicator for a display system," which he and his team developed at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, California. The device, a small, wooden box with two metal wheels, was nicknamed a "mouse" because a cable trailing out of the one end resembled a tail.

In addition to the first computer mouse, Engelbart’s team developed computer interface concepts that led to the GUI interface, and were integral to the development of ARPANET--the precursor to today’s Internet. Engelbart received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Oregon State University in 1948, followed by an MS in 1953 and a Ph.D. in 1955 both from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Jean Sammet

Jean E. Sammet was one of the first developers and researchers in programming languages. During the 1950’s - 1960’s she supervised the first scientific programming group for Sperry Gyroscope Co. and served as a key member of the original COBOL (COmmon Business-Oriented Language) committee at Sylvania Electric Products. She also taught one of the first graduate programming courses in the country at Adelphi College. After joining IBM in 1961, she developed and directed the first FORMAC (FORmula MAnipulation Compiler). This was the first widely used general language and system for manipulating nonnumeric algebraic expressions. In 1979 she began handling Ada activities for IBM’s Federal Systems Division. Ada is a structured, object-oriented high-level computer programming language, designed for large, long-lived applications, where reliability and efficiency are paramount. Jean has a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and an M.A. from the University of Illinois, both in Mathematics. She received an honorary D.Sc. from Mount Holyoke (1978).

Gordon and SenseCam QUT
Gordon Bell
Gordon and SenseCam QUT

Gordon Bell is a pioneering computer designer with an influential career in industry, academia and government. He graduated from MIT with a degree in electrical engineering. From 1960, at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), he designed the first mini- and time-sharing computers and was responsible for DEC's VAX as Vice President of R&D, with a 6 year sabbatical at Carnegie Mellon University. In 1987, as NSF’s first, Ass't Director for Computing (CISE), he led the National Research Network panel that became the Internet. Bell maintains three interests: computing, lifelogging, and startup companies—advising over 100 companies. He is a Fellow of the, Association of Computing Machinery, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and four academies. He received The 1991 National Medal of Technology. He is a founding trustee of the Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA. and is an Researcher Emeritus at Microsoft. His 3 word descriptor: Computing my life; computing, my life.

RISC processor
John Hennessy
John Hennessy

Have you ever wondered how computers can execute complex commands in mere seconds? John Hennessy is a pioneer of reduced instruction set computing (RISC) architecture which employs small, highly-optimized sets of instructions to greatly enhance computer performance. He was instrumental in transferring the technology, specifically MIPS RISC architecture, to industry. He co-founded MIPS Technologies and co-authored the classic textbook with David A. Patterson, on Computer Architecture.

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Liz Gerber - Image credit Lisa Beth Anderson
Liz Gerber
Liz Gerber - Image credit Lisa Beth Anderson

Liz Gerber earned her MS and PhD in Product Design and Management Science and Engineering at Stanford. She specializes in design and human-computer interaction, particularly how social computing supports the innovation process. Her current research investigates crowd-funding as a mechanism for reducing disparities in entrepreneurship.
Gerber's work funded by the US National Science Foundation and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, including Transactions on Computer Human Interactions, Design Studies, and Organization Science.
As an award-winning teacher and researcher, Liz has touched the lives of more than 6,000 students through her teaching at Northwestern's Segal Design Institute and Stanford University's Hasso Plattner's Institute of Design and through her paradigm-shifting creation, Design for America, a national network of students using design to tackle social challenges.

Image credit - Lisa Beth Anderson

Image credits