Hayley Hinsberger – Minor in Computer Science
Hayley is a Linguistics Senior from Lake Zurich, Il., in the suburbs of Chicago. Her first introduction to computers was due to her father being a Computer Science teacher for elementary schools. However, she didn’t program until joining the University of Oklahoma. Hayley’s first interest in OU came through the special incentive to attract National Merit Scholars. Being a laureate, she came to tour the campus and shortly after decided to join the OU family through Honors College. It was a huge leap of faith from someone who has never even visited Oklahoma before.
Although she didn’t seem to hesitate on her major, Hayley’s interest in computer science didn’t really exist until her friends coerced her into taking a programming class. Fortunately, she ultimately caved in and took CS 1323 Intro to Computer Programming with Dr. Trytten. Her life then took a different direction. Hayley admits that the material was difficult but she was soon driven by the will to learn more. She declared CS as a minor during her Sophomore year. She also praises Dr. Trytten for having been so helpful when she needed help.
The knowledge Hayley gained through her minor helped her to obtain two very prestigious Research Experience for Undergraduate Students. The first one was during the summer leading to her Junior year. She went to Carnegie Mellon to work in their Human Computer Interactions Institute where she had a lot of fun and was able to deepen her knowledge. Hayley then attended MIT during the summer leading to her Senior year. There, she worked in their Media Lab. The area of research was mainly based on network science, a part of the discipline that was somewhat unfamiliar to Hayley then. She had to compile information on Indian villages and states to determine personal networks. This information was then used to determine the best way to spread the word on microfinance opportunities.
Hayley will admit that her minor was difficult to complete without a strong math background. Another hurdle is the low number of women in CS. However, she really enjoys the different classes she had to take. Her favorite class is CS 5970 Intro to Text Analytics taught by Dr. Grant. It is related to her interest in natural language processing. Hayley enjoys working on computational linguistics, whether it is spoken language or text data. Figuring how language works and its influence on society is fascinating for the young Senior. She also worked on a natural language processing project about Facebook statuses and how people feel about them. It helps creating a topic model to see what is important.
On top of her academic accomplishments, Hayley is part of the Linguistic Club, the Honors College Readings Group, and the co-founder of Queer Inclusion On Campus (an LGBTQ advocacy group). Her plans after graduation involve working for a start-up or a research group on something related to natural language processing, preferably in the Boston area.
When she is not studying, Hayley enjoys playing the cello (she played in Symphony and for some operas), cooking, reading, and riding her bike.