Friday, October 17, 2014

Precious Gem: Zack Siegel

Zack is a senior mathematics, physics, and computer science triple major on team QUANTUM SEA. Zack hails from Rockville, MD and attended high school at Wootton High. An active member of his Gemstone team, Zack used MATLAB to write the modeling program that his team now uses. In fact, QUANTUM SEA’s mentor has pitched the idea of getting his program formally published.

Outside of his team, Zack conducts physics research at the Joint Quantum Institute, is a vice president of the National Mathematics Honors Society, Pi Mu Epsilon, and is on the sponsorship team for BitCamp 2, a college hacking marathon. He enjoys spending time not devoted to his vast array of academic activities doing outdoor activities such as hiking and playing sports. For the past few summers he has interned at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland, and worked at Oculus VR. He was even able to spend some summertime on the beaches of southern CA.

Zack spoke very fondly of his experience at CERN. He spent his summer with a diverse group of 300 students from all over the world. His days were comprised of lectures in the mornings from famous physicists and he spent his afternoons on a software development team working on simulations for the large hadron collider. Zack also made sure to keep busy in his down time by traveling and enjoying the beautiful scenery that Switzerland and France has to offer. During his travels, Zack also climbed halfway up the Matterhorn, which is one of the highest peaks in the Alps (4,478 m). As if his experience was not packed enough, Zack also received an email during his time abroad about a memorial scholarship from Oculus VR, which sought applicants interested in computer science and nature. Zack decided to write his essay that day while drawing inspiration from a mountain which he could view from his window. He won the scholarship.

While at BitCamp during last school year, Zack spoke to a recruiter from Oculus VR, who ensured that Zack got an internship with the company. That small foot-in-the-door was all he needed to get an internship with Oculus that summer. He worked on software for the second iteration of the Oculus Rift, the premier virtual reality device developed by Oculus VR. His individual project focused very heavily on the optics of the Oculus Rift. In addition to the large quantity of free stuff, he enjoyed the passionate working environment that Oculus VR offered.

Zack is very personable and is more than willing to bring the discussion of complex computer science, physics, and mathematics down to a level that anyone could understand. He has a resume that is filled with valuable and interesting experiences. It was certainly a pleasure getting to know this Precious Gem!

17 October 2014 - Nate Nenortas

1 comment:

  1. Zack,

    I am always amazed and proud to see what accomplishments you have made in your studies and soon your career. You make our family proud. Keep going in that beautiful direction, and the world will be yours.
    Love, Fran, your second cousin from Miami.