David Russell '20, BS Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Hometown: New London, NH
Digital systems are dramatically reshaping the world around us. I want to be a part of these exciting changes, and Clarkson is already helping me do that. For example, the summer before my freshman year — before I even started classes — I had the opportunity to work with Drs. Sean and Natasha Banerjee in their Terascale All-sensing Research Studio (TARS). I'm still part of their research team — and it's really great!
I think that most people would be amazed at the many connections between science and computer science. An engineering background doesn't just mean you work on engineering problems. It makes you versatile and prepares you for many fields. If you work hard here, you'll get a lot out of it. So I'm pursuing two degrees — electrical engineering and computer science. This will allow me to leverage my previous experience with hardware, while learning a wealth of new programing concepts.
One reason I chose to attend Clarkson is its reputation as a hands-on, undergraduate-research-focused environment. Students do meaningful, exciting research right away. I'm grateful to and inspired by the caring faculty who are willing to go out of their way to help me achieve my goals. The Banerjees, especially, have been incredible mentors; they've pushed and given me opportunities.
Our work in TARS involves understanding how humans interact in real-world and online environments. The Banerjees recently received funding for a large, new system. This is a very exciting field in which to do research, and there's still a huge amount to learn. I've always enjoyed the challenge of research and want to continue with it.
While I was in high school, I loved working to solve technical challenges — usually as part of personal projects and FIRST Robotics Competitions. This summer, I'm participating in the Robotics Institute Summer Scholars program, involving a research internship at Carnegie Mellon University. You can bet I'm enjoying every bit of it!
In addition to academics, I've also been busy with some recreational activities, including High Dive ultimate frisbee and intramural soccer. I'm in the Residence Hall Association, and I co-founded a nascent debate team.