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Vince Dinh: Undergraduate Student

Degree Program: Computer Science, B.S.; Business Management Economics, B.A.

Department: Computer Science and Engineering; Economics

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/vince-dinh

Vince Dinh: Undergraduate Student

“The [UCSC] campus and culture really appealed to me, and I can confidently say I’m happy with my decision.”

Vince Dinh is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in computer science and business management economics. As someone who is passionate about giving back to the community, Dinh’s been a member of the co-ed service-based fraternity Alpha Phi Omega since freshman year. To learn more about the computer science field and expand his skillset, he joined the Tech4Good Lab during spring quarter 2021, where he was tasked with an AI/machine learning-focused research project. Dinh plans to pursue a career in computer graphics after obtaining his bachelor’s degree. 

What were your reasons for choosing to study computer science at the Baskin School of Engineering?

My dad, who has an engineering background, has always encouraged me to seek out STEM-related subjects and fields, so when I was in high school, I took a computer science class. With that class, I was introduced to coding and really enjoyed it. I liked all the different applications for coding, and it was a source of creative output for me. 

When applying to schools, I wasn’t completely set on what I wanted to major in. In addition to wanting to explore more about the field of computer science, I equally liked the field of  journalism and thought maybe I’d do something writing-related. In the end, I ended up choosing to double major in computer science and business management economics at UCSC. The campus and culture really appealed to me, and I can confidently say I’m happy with my decision. 

What’s been your favorite Baskin Engineering course so far?

My favorite course so far has been CSE 160, Intro to Computer Graphics. I really enjoyed Professor Davis’s teaching style. In addition to the curriculum taught, Professor Davis provided us industry insight. He would often show us his own work and discuss available opportunities in the field. I learned different techniques for the computer graphics field and got to conduct a lot of hands-on projects. 

Tell me about the research you worked on in the Tech4Good Lab.

Two of my good friends, who were leads for the Machine Learning Department in the Tech4Good Lab, encouraged me to apply. I ended up joining one of the research teams for Tech4Good, where I got to work with AI and machine learning applications. The project I was tasked with was to train a machine learning model to take in queries and questions and categorize those into resources for the lab. Our model ended up outputting a 70% accuracy rate on its predictions. My research partner and I had a lot of freedom when it came to building out the project. It was a fun project for spring quarter 2021, and I learned a lot, especially because this was a brand new area of computer science for me.

What other organization(s) are you involved with at UCSC?

The main organization I’ve been a part of since freshman year is Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service-based fraternity. Service was something that I’ve always done in high school, and I’ve always enjoyed volunteering at local organizations. It’s been a really good experience for me, and I’ve made a lot of friends. 

What has been your most memorable experience as an undergraduate student?

I came here with my best friend in high school, who is also a computer science major. One of my fondest memories is when we were both studying for midterms and my friend randomly got a craving for sous vide eggs. What we ended up doing was cooking sous vide eggs on an electric burner in our dorm room. It was one of those quintessential college experiences based on what I’ve always heard from other people and seen on TV. We were just two college students trying to figure out life on our own.

What are a few activities that you like to do outside of school?

In high school, I picked up traditional calligraphy, but now I do more contemporary calligraphy as a fun artistic outlet. I also play guitar from time to time. And, I’m a huge gamer. I used to compete competitively. Now I play more for fun. Online gaming is a great way to meet new people.

Interview Date: 1/19/2022

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