Meet Richard: Not Your Average Engineer

(Photo courtesy of Kiana Yup)

Name: Richard Boone

Major: Computer Engineering

Year: 2nd

Hometown: Fresno, CA

Favorite late night snack: Mac and Cheese

(Photo courtesy of Kiana Yup)

What influenced you to choose your major?

I was between mechanical engineering and computer science, so I picked something in the middle. I ended up with computer engineering: learning circuits and computer science which I enjoy.

What activities are you currently involved in?

I am treasurer for the UCSB Chapter of IEEE, an international engineering organization; Data Science Club in which we study, discuss, and analyze data science; research in the Four Eyes Lab, a lab on campus that deals with computer vision and machine learning; assist with teaching ECE 5, an undergrad course in Arduino projects.   

What do you like to do in your free time?

Besides going out on the weekends, I occasionally play video games with friends and lots of coding working on personal projects or for my extracurricular clubs. However, I feel as though a lot of my free time disappears!

What are your plans for after college? Where do you see yourself?

As of right now, I am not sure. Though, I’m considering graduate school through UCSB’s 5 year Master’s Program or going for a PhD or possibly going straight into the workforce. It will depend on the next year or two: whether I want to work more or do research.

(Photo courtesy of Kiana Yup)

Engineering is one of the toughest, but most rewarding fields.  Do you have any advice for anyone interested in becoming an engineering major?

Teach yourself as much as you can. Code Academy is a great online resource; the Internet is full of resources for engineers. Anyone who doesn’t teach themselves coding before coming to college will be behind. Other than that, have fun. If you tried coding and you didn’t love it, switch majors immediately. You don’t want to do it your entire life if you don’t love it. 

When did you first start coding or become even remotely interested?

My first experience that was remotely like my major was a summer course through CTY, a program through Johns Hopkins University, about electrical engineering that I took in 2012.  It opened me to possibilities in computer and electrical engineering. After, during my senior year of high school, I had a little free time during my second semester, so taught myself Python and web development. Python is a coding language that is readily accessible to beginners: the language is comprehensible and its built to be self-explanatory.

How do you balance your time between friends, schoolwork, and extracurricular activities?

I organize my time: the important thing is that when I get busy, I plan when I can be free and when I can take extended breaks. The rest of the time I dedicate to studying, going to class, and working on extracurricular clubs. I’ve come to realize in high school it was about managing your work time, but in college you must manage your free time.   

Many of your friends tend to go to you for advice and you always seem to say exactly what they need to hear.  Do you have a quote/motto/slogan that you refer to? Or that you feel is avidly applicable to your life right now?

My general strategy with life and pattern of advice involves honesty. If you’re honest, things will work out; I feel that fairly often if friends come to me for advice, what they’re coming for is more justification to say what they need to say out loud to someone. The best advice I can give them is to tell them what I told you at the beginning of this question: be honest.  

(Photo courtesy of Siavash Ghadiri)