Spotlight – Jared Rondeau
Jared Rondeau is a true computer scientist who wakes up everyday with a passion to learn. He is in his senior year and expects to be graduating this Spring with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Jared has had a love of computers since the age of ten so it will be no surprise that he continues to excel with them.
Jared has worked several semesters as an undergraduate TA for courses such as CSC 211 and CSC 104. His favorite course, CSC 104, introduces probability, logic, algorithms, graphs and computational thinking through puzzles and games. He especially enjoys working with students in small groups on activities to enhance their analytic abilities. His advice to new freshman is to code for fun and “find projects related to your interests. If you like games, code up a game. If you like robotics, buy an Arduino and get started now.”
The topics that really excite Jared for the future are in the realm of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Some of his favorite high level courses include: Dr. Alvarez’ Machine Learning course and Dr. Hamel’s Support Vector Machines course. It sometimes can take a while for a student to find their niche, but Jared has stuck to it like cheese on chicken parm (his favorite food).
Jared has also been engaged outside the Department while enrolled at URI. He has interned with Hotwire (part of Expedia) in the area of data science. While there he worked on a machine learning model to predict the satisfaction that customers would experience from the hotel deals offered to them. You can read more about Jared’s project on Post Booking Scores on the Hotwire Tech Blog. He was also selected to compete on behalf of the Computer Science Department at the first annual Think Big Tank, a University-sponsored competition of undergrad research. While he didn’t win the grand prize he was awarded an honorable mention.
Besides his personal ambitions, Jared also finds time to give back to the community. He volunteers his free time to mentor a high school robotics team. In his own words, “The students I mentor compete in the First Tech Challenge, a robotics competition designed to introduce the joys of engineering and technology in high school students.” Despite his modesty his team has been winner of the state championships in robotics for several years running.
Looking to the future Jared is hoping to complete a Masters Degree in Computer Science with a focus on Deep Learning. He would like to expand his knowledge of machine learning by building on his undergraduate courses and the real world application of technology he experienced with his time at Hotwire. At some point he may even want to complete a Ph.D. in a field like machine learning applied to robotics. As Jared put it, “machine learning was the tops!”