Spotlight – Kile DaSilva
Kile joined URI after graduating from Mount Hope High School in Bristol, RI as part of the class of 2013. He became interested in Computer Science in high school when he took an experience course in computer animation. This course, which focused in digital design, was delivered using Alice, an introductory 3D computer programming environment. Kile’s favorite subjects were math and computer graphics, which led him to computer science.
He came to URI for Computer Science, and while at the University also took on minors in Cyber Security and Japanese. Kile choose URI because it was a good state school and fairly close to home.
Kile’s favorite part of computer science is solving puzzles and creating stuff from scratch, while his favorite animal is the hopper penguin. Regarding computer science, “you can do really cool things like using artificial intelligence to build path finding algorithms.” Which, Kile admits, sounds really impressively difficult until you actually try it.
It should be no surprise then that his most liked class in Computer Science was Machine Learning with Doctor Alvarez. His other favorite was Computer Organization with Doctor Baudet. “I really like the assembly level programming and being close to the CPU without much abstraction,” he says. Outside the department his favorite non-Computer Science course is the History of Jazz, “it was a cool class.”
Kile completed his first internship at Hayward Industries, where he was working in debugging parallel code. There he also worked with a team to build automated unit testing. He feels the best courses to prepare him for his internship were the topics learned in CSC 305 Software engineering. CSC 411 also taught him important skills on how to read documentation with low-level code. Computer graphics also played a part in his preparation where he learned how to correct errors in RGB controllers and perform proper interpolation handling. At his internship he liked working with a team of engineers and this helped focus his goals towards industry away from academia, temporarily of course.
He plans on continuing his education, but is going to wait to get a doctorate for a little while. Kile wants some experience working in industry first. He is looking forward in the future to working in development on AI (artificial intelligence) or machine learning. He enjoys solving problems with algorithms not necessarily programming the solutions in a specific language.
Kile has been a fixture in the department as he served as a TA for 3 years since he took CSC 211. While he has TA’ed classes for CSC 211 and CSC 412, he would really like to see an undergraduate computer vision course, which could serve as a lighter weight version of the already existing graduate-level course. While at URI Kile has also been engaged in several extra-departmental endeavors.
He has been engaged with conducting undergraduate research with Professor Zang in CBLS. There he worked with programs focused on protein string sequence alignment. Kile has been reworking an existing program to audit it for accuracy and add parallelization features to the code as his Senior year project. Kile became involved with the project after a recommendation from the faculty suggesting Kile for the project. Cross-disciplinary research is a hallmark of computer science and its applications across other fields.
In March of 2017 at the Cornell Health Hackathon his team won 2nd place in an IoT competition. As part of Team SmartVape, their project produced a proof-of-concept that reduces nicotine levels by users as part of a smoking cessation program. The PoC was constructed using an Arduino and embedded application to simulate the action of a smoking vaporizer. This event sponsored by Johnson and Johnson hosted 10 teams from across the Northeast for a three day competition.
Upon graduation, Kile will work for Johnson and Johnson in their Software Quality Assurance division, located at their new campus in Providence. There he will work alongside J&J engineers to test, evaluate and troubleshoot new hardware and software packages.
He has also studied Japanese while at the University. In his sophomore year Kile participated in a study abroad program in Kochi, Japan. There he studied with 10 other URI students in a compressed academic semester format. This provided the opportunity to experience cultural traditions and visit historical sites in Japan. Kile will be one of the first graduates to complete the University’s new Minor in Japanese program.
Kile suggests high school students who are interested in computer science to try to program on their own. “Try to program as often as you can, and have fun with it.” Kile attributes part of his undergraduate success to frequent practice on a fun small random projects. “Computer Science is awesome, you can do pretty much anything you want.”