Research x 3

Joao Cassamano ’15, a native of Angola, Africa, currently is completing his third consecutive summer of research, this time as an intern at a university of science and technology in Aachen, Germany.

The 10-week experience is part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) International, which partners qualified students studying at American or Canadian universities with faculty at Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen University.

Cassamano’s research, titled “Detecting parallel patterns in sequential code,” aims to analyze computer code implementations and find solutions to make the process quicker.

“I wanted to explore a topic that I did not know much about,” he said. “I read the abstracts and requirements for each project on the UROP website, and I decided to select the project that seemed to be least familiar for me, as long as I had the required qualifications.”

A computer science and mathematics major with a minor in economics, Cassmano intends to pursue a career in computer science, hopefully in his home country where the field is still in a state of emergence.

In past summers, Cassamano did research at the College. As a Richter Scholar in 2012, he designed a program that calculates the probability of arriving at a destination point from a source based on the states of the path (congested and uncongested) through which it travels. He continued that research the next summer.

His choice to participate in a program off-campus and out of the country in 2014, he says, allowed him the chance to gain new professional and general life experiences.

He explained, “Last December I decided to apply for research positions outside of the United States … This way I would have the opportunity to not only learn through my research program, but I would also be experiencing some cultural diversity, and mainly learning one more language. I applied to RWTH Aachen University and fortunately was offered a position there.”

Cassamano further explained that his research internships have supported and enhanced the lessons that he has learned in the classroom. They also have offered him the opportunity to meet new people and gain new experiences.

“It is a worthwhile experience, as long as I make the most of it,” he said.

Story by Asha Walker ’15


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