Mikael is from Saint Marcel d’Urfé, a small French town of only 300 inhabitants. His mother being an accountant and his father a mechanic, he naturally grew up loving math and engineering. While he was in middle school, Mikael’s parents got a computer and he got very curious on how it works and how to fix it. By 16, he had taught himself how to program in C and became a Science major in high school. He discovered Computer Science while studying System Engineering in an Institut Universitaire Technologique (a mix between computer and robotics) and then specialized in Software Engineering and Computer Systems at ISIMA.
Xiaodi is from the Henan province in the center of China, considered the birthplace of the Chinese civilization. He has always been interested in engineering and geography. Xiaodi earned a B.S. in Survey and Mapping Engineering from Shanghai University. His first experience in Computer Science was during this program when he took a class on Visual Basic and Imaging Processing. After completing his B.S., Xiaodi was not ready to be out of school and wanted to experience a different lifestyle so he applied to American M.S. programs in Geographic Information Systems.
Lauren grew up in Celina, TX, just north of Frisco. She has always been self-driven, ambitious, and dedicated. These traits have been on display with her involvement in OU cheerleading and in her studies. She has always loved and succeeded in mathematics and was interested in engineering. Lauren first declared pre-physical therapy as a major before switching to computer science with a minor in math.
Paige is from Mansfield, TX near the DFW metroplex. Her father is an autodidact when it comes to coding and software engineering and his switch from a career in ministries to one as a successful software engineer made quite an impression on young Paige who used to watch him code. In high school she joined the Computer Applications Team and participated in the University Interscholastic League where she won the district and regional competition.
Ali was born in Tehran, Iran where he lived until moving to Tulsa where he attended Tulsa Union High School. He has always loved playing with electronics and engineering devices since he was four years old. In middle school he joined the Robotics and Electronic Club. In high school Ali went on to join the First Robotics Club which won the Dallas Regional and led him to programming.
Joseph is from Weatherford, Oklahoma but was born in Ghana where he lived until coming to the U.S. at age nine when his father got the opportunity to pursue a Ph.D. at Syracuse, NY. His background is very multicultural as his father is from Ghana and his mother from Russia. Both his parents have a background in engineering and stressed the importance of education to Joseph. As a young child, Joseph loved going to Internet cafés with his brother and became fascinated by computers.
Mamta is from the Indian province of Rajasthan, a hill station in the north-west part of the country. When she was a little girl, Mamta dreamt of becoming a medical doctor. She inherited a love for mathematics from her dad and was so talented in computer science that after solving many problems for her teachers, they encouraged her to pursue engineering.
Zack is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he attended Booker T. Washington High School and earned the International Baccalaureate Diploma. He always knew he would study engineering, but did not know what type. When he was twelve years old, his neighbor showed him how to build a computer using different hardware components; it ignited a true fascination for Zachary.
Thibault is from Paris, France. After studying in California as a 6th grader, he grew up wanting to come to the U.S. to study. After finishing Preparatory School Thibault was interested in Computer Science and chose to join ISIMA, a French Engineering school, because of the amazing opportunity it offers: the possibility to get 2 M.S. degrees in Computer Science, one from ISIMA and one from The University of Oklahoma.
David is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he took AP classes in computer programming at Jenks High School and at the Tulsa Technology Center. Although David cannot recall exactly what attracted him to Computer Science he remembers saving his money for two years in middle school to buy a computer. After he got his computer he started to teach himself QBasic, C, and C++.
Maryam is from Iran where she obtained a B.S. in Math and M.S. in Industrial Engineering. She was recognized there as one of the most talented students of her university. Maryam is a recipient of the Computer Science graduate scholarship and CS fellowship. She is a research assistant for Dr. Weaver and works on translating user interaction with visualization to natural language; this work is also part of her dissertation. Maryam always knew she wanted to be an engineer of some sort.
Nicole is from Edmond, OK. She is a Distinguished Scholar, the recipient of a FedEx scholarship and a Multicultural Engineering Program scholarship. She has always loved technology and was able to assemble her Sega video system at age three. At the age of eight an online game called Neopets encouraged her to work on HTTML. In high school Nicole was part of the Edmond Memorial HTTML team who won the State competition and placed 13th in the nation. She also enjoyed taking AP Programming in high school. She is currently a sophomore in Computer Science, minoring in Japanese.
Youming grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma after coming to the U.S. from China at the age of eleven. He is a National Merit Scholar, a Mutlticultural Engineering Program scholarship recipient, and he is on the President’s honor roll. He has always been interested in technology and engineering, but was unsure of the route he wanted to take. In high school Youming enjoyed Math classes and took AP Programming (Introduction to Java) which eventually led him to pursue a degree in Computer Science.
Shiblee joined the University of Oklahoma after completing his B.S. in Computer Science in his home country of Bangladesh. As a child, he received a programmable device as a gift that he enjoyed playing with.
Shiblee enjoys the fact that CS is a relatively small department where everybody knows and is connected to each other. The Sooner spirit made him feel special – he felt that he belonged and was a Sooner.
Caleb left his native Arkansas after receiving a National Merit Scholarship to join OU School of Computer Science as an undergraduate student. As a kid, he was interested in his older brother’s video games. His dad was prompt to recognize Caleb’s curiosity and introduced him to a programmer that taught him Q Basic.
Joel is from Mustang, OK and has enjoyed working with computers his whole life. He is an Oklahoma Regents Scholar and a member of the Integrity Council. However, he didn’t take any programming class prior to joining OU, where he enrolled in Computer Science as a Minor.