With a major in computer science and minor in electronic music, undergraduate student Maryam Siddiqui is blending her twin passions of coding and making music. Siddiqui has enjoyed her two internships in web application development, where she was able to enhance her web coding skills. After graduating this spring, she’ll start a full-time role at Microsoft in Seattle.
What factors led to your decision to pursue a computer science degree at Baskin Engineering?
I had a friend who was majoring in computer science at Baskin Engineering. Before accepting admission to UCSC, I would frequently talk with him to learn more about the program and compare it to other universities’ computer science programs. The Baskin Engineering program really stuck out to me, especially the wide range of faculty that teach at the school of engineering, and I thought it would be a great overall program for me. I also fell in love with campus when I visited and really liked the entire Santa Cruz area.
What's been your favorite computer science course so far?
My favorite computer science course has been CSE 183, Web Applications. It was a really fun class during spring quarter. We got to work on a couple of group projects, and I was able to apply what I learned to my internships.
Tell me about the internships you’ve done.
I interned at Microsoft for the past two summers. I worked on the Microsoft whiteboard application, so I was able to use a lot of the web application knowledge I learned from CSE 183. I also interned at the Tech4Good Lab, where I did web application work to help build a mentorship platform.
You’re also an electronic music minor. Tell me about what inspired you to get into the program.
Besides computer science and coding, my other hobby is music. In college, it became harder to keep an instrument, so I started dabbling with electronic music and seeing how I could choreograph certain pieces together. It started off as a fun hobby. I found out about the electronic music minor program offered once I got to UCSC. I wanted to see if I could do both hobbies at the same time, so I applied to the program and got in.
The program has helped me form the skills I was looking to gain. There’s a lot of intersection between electronic music and computer science. In one of my classes, we’re using a specific music programming language to program our own sounds and electronic instruments. Doing these types of projects heightens my interest because I never thought I could blend those two fields and passions of mine together. The great thing about the program is that it’s not exclusive to music majors. Many of my classmates are actually computer science or computer engineering majors.
Are you involved with any organizations on campus?
For two years, I was involved in the Google Developer Student Club organization on campus, where we gave students access to different Google technologies to develop interesting, creative projects that benefited the community. I was an officer. Apart from that, I was involved with the Tech4Good Lab.
What are your plans for after graduation?
After I graduate, I’ll be taking a little break before I start full-time at Microsoft in Seattle.
Interview Date: March 16, 2022