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Computer science student takes advantage of diverse opportunities at IUPUI

A Computer Science major, Taylor has taken advantage of the many impressive activities and experiences available to her at IUPUI.

As a first-generation college student, Taylor Peavey didn’t know what to expect when she first stepped on the IUPUI campus.  IUPUI’s affordability and opportunity to receive a Purdue degree convinced her to attend, but it was the opportunities she wasn’t expecting that have made her most proud to be a Jaguar. A Computer Science major, Taylor has taken advantage of the many impressive activities and experiences available to her at IUPUI.

Taylor chose Computer Science because it challenges her to think about aspects of life in different ways than she was accustomed to. The rigor of the classroom experience and variety of paths available to her with a CS degree have her excited for her future. “I've learned that it's not so much about the programming as it is about the concepts we try to learn through programming, and that intellectual challenge to understand is what drove me,” Taylor said. “I’ve allowed myself to pursue different things and now I have so many paths to choose from – I could go into software development, database administration, information technology, web design or game design to name a few.”

Taylor completed a software development internship at a small firm where she worked with two developers who worked from home. She says it was strange being the only in-house programmer, but she felt rewarded by the experience with them. The experience gave her the opportunity to work directly with the firm’s accounting team, making the changes they required and seeing those changes in action.

“Working from home is a legitimate choice in this industry,” she said. “I was able to work from home a few times during my internship and it was so beneficial because of my schedule.”

From an early age, Taylor had a calling to travel abroad.  College was the perfect opportunity for her to affordably achieve that goal and receive college credit. The IUPUI Study Abroad Office helped her to find an ideal Computer Science program at University College Dublin (Ireland) that allowed her to combine her passion for Computer Science with her desire for intellectual and cultural adventure. In her spare time, she traveled in Europe and even learned to surf.

In Dublin, she researched the scalability of PostgreSQL on the Insight4News platform. Insight4News collects tweets with political hashtags or references and manipulates the data to provide relevant information and attitudes on political issues, parties and candidates. Taylor’s research focused on improving the platform’s schema (database design) to improve storage capabilities to allow it to hold more tweets without going through a bottleneck.

“This was a really interesting project because it combined my Computer Science abilities with a social media app I use almost every day (Twitter),” Taylor said. “It was really rewarding to see that my studies were being used for real world applications.” 

Taylor has found her place and pursued her other passions at IUPUI and in the city she loves. She has performed in a play with the IUPUI Performing Arts Club; rowed down the canal in the IUPUI Regatta; and captained a co-ed intramural basketball team, The Monstars. Her advice to incoming students is to stay busy, take advantage of the resources available to you and get involved.

“There are limitless opportunities for you to do whatever it is you want to do, you just have to ask. You can't be shy when it comes to the things you really want. So, if you want to study abroad, find a program that will take you where you want to go. If you want to do research with a professor, ask a professor. If you want to join clubs that sound really interesting but are the total opposite of your major, join them anyway.“

The School of Science at IUPUI is committed to excellence in teaching, research and service in the biological, physical, computational, behavioral and mathematical sciences. The School is dedicated to being a leading resource for interdisciplinary research and science education in support of Indiana's effort to expand and diversify its economy.

(Written by: Lori Vanatsky)