Before coming to Tech I had a desire to learn coding, particularly the computational aspect of computer animation, and with my interest in art, I also wanted a major that allows me to express my creative side. Computational Media (CM) provides a balance between computer science and design that I am so passionate about.
I pursued CM at Georgia Tech because I was initially drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of this major, and how it combines my interest in both art and technology. CM allows me to learn and advance my skills in the areas of computing and design.
In the fall of 2017, I took a graphic design course with Professor Mark Leibert, Principles of Graphic Design (LMC3402). This being a design-based class, it encourages students to explore and learn more about their specific areas of interest within mediums. This was especially beneficial with the use of both analog and digital mediums when creating designs, and the projects were physical, digital, or a mixture of both.
I also took a class with Professor Devin Wilson, Constructing Moving Images (LMC2730), where we proposed ideas for individual projects, which sequentially built upon the previous until my final project: Creating a short traditionally animated film! The first component entailed exploring something technical or aesthetic, specifically a medium we hadn’t used before, of which I chose to do watercolor painting. This contributed to the second part of the project with hand drawing character design, storyboarding, and beginning the animation process. The third and final project was to animate the first scene, and ultimately I completed the animated short film.
“I’m elated I’ve had the opportunity at Tech to begin learning Japanese, explore the language in more depth, and utilize these acquired language skills to further enhance my interactions with individuals from that culture.”
In the Fall 2017 semester, I was inspired to take Japanese 1001 after visiting Japan during the summer of 2017. I fell in love with the country and its culture! Japan is a country that I found I connected to so well, and that my personality fits in great with the general calm and respectful nature of the people. I’m elated I’ve had the opportunity at Tech to begin learning Japanese, explore the language in more depth, and utilize these acquired language skills to further enhance my interactions with individuals from that culture. I plan to continue taking Japanese through my last semester.
During the Spring semester in 2018, I had the pleasure of being an exchange student in Sweden at Malmö University. I studied in the interaction design program, which I found fascinating to compare how the field of interaction design was interpreted and taught in Sweden versus at Georgia Tech. Interaction design in Sweden was heavily focused on designing how people interact with something. We were tasked with answering the following questions: “How does this item feel in your hands?”; and, “How do different materials and different designs change people’s perception of an object and how they interact with it?”
In my classes at Malmö University I worked with physical designs and creating a physical product, user research, and user testing. This being a unique experience, I found great interest in learning the physical side of interaction design, and one that complimented my knowledge on digital design. This experience provided the opportunity to produce projects that included both game design and service design!
I grew up watching and loving animation, which ultimately fueled my interest at a very young age. Animation allowed me to be immersed in a story, especially through the artistic visuals and sound. In animation, it’s important for emotions to be portrayed easily on the character’s face, that way anyone watching can clearly understand.
Conducting endless research over the years, and learning about the production process of animation and animation as a medium, I am now able to attribute that research to the movies I watched as a child from Disney and Pixar. I also grew up watching movies from Studio Ghibli on VHS tapes my grandparents brought of 'My Neighbor Totoro' and "Kiki's Delivery Service', both of which were completely in their original country's language, Japanese. Even though I didn’t always understand what the characters were saying, I still felt the emotions behind the story, and the feelings of the characters through the art. I was completely drawn into the stories through animation.
“In the future I would like to work in the animation industry, which has always been my dream. I decided to attend Georgia Tech and major in Computational Media to gain the technical skills, and explore the multiple sides of animation.”
During my sophomore year at Tech, I attended a talk by Disney where the animator shared a message, one that has served as inspiration for me ever since. He mentioned that everyone has a story, and what we’ve experienced, felt, and learned throughout our life contributes to this story and makes it unique. I know my individual story has been enriched as a result of being at Tech.
It comes as no surprise you’ll be amongst many intelligent and talented individuals at Tech, so my advice is that it’s always good to be involved in something outside your major! Learn as much as you can, gain a wide range of experiences, and don’t be afraid to seize any opportunities that come your way. Tell your story at Tech.