Hometown: Portland, Oregon

High School: Wilson High School

Major: Computer and Information Science

Minor: Business Administration 

Website: edwardszczepanski.com

Edward was the captain of his high school speech and debate team and was awarded state champion in two events. He was the Model United Nations club leader at his school and one of five Under-Secretaries in Oregon. A weightlifter, Edward played football and participated in Wilson’s first-ever We The People program. He has interned at OHSU, a software firm and for an agricultural exporter in Australia. As former president of his school’s Key Club, he fundraised for maternal and neonatal tetanus vaccines and building schools in developing nations.

What are you most proud of accomplishing since you start at the UO? Being one of two programmers on the team that won the Major League Hacking QuackHack Hackathon. The QuackHack spanned three days and was an event where more than 100 people came to the UO from all over the nation to build games. With a team of four students, including my friend UO Stamps Scholar Joseph Yaconelli, I created Game Full of Animals, a physics-based multiplayer game. Anybody could download the app and jump into the fun using their phones as the controller. During judging we were approached by the owner of a new startup called Tone Command, specializing in silent audio QR codes, and I am currently working part-time for them. 

What are some things you’ve been doing outside of the classroom since you’ve been at the UO? I have been using my time well! I have been working at a startup, but I am also involved with a lot of other organizations. I am a Departments Finance Committee representative for the ASUO student government. I am also the Public Relations director for the UO eBusiness club. I usually work on software projects with friends and compete in hackathons in my free time. In addition, I am doing data visualization with the CDUX research group where we take data crunched from supercomputers and try to make graphical representations of it all. I am working with another UO Stamps Scholar, Jacob Bieker, on this project.

Tell me about a mentor or professor that has positively impacted your experience at UO. Professor Eric Wills in the Department of Computer and Information Science has been my teacher for three separate classes and has been a great mentor. I often go to his office hours just to talk about personal projects or ask for professional advice. He is an extremely energetic and open professor, and I hope I can take more of his courses in the future.

Describe to me a couple of your favorite classes that you have taken at UO. My favorite classes would probably be CIS (Computer and Information Science) 314 Computer Organization and CIS 407 Career and Internship Seminar. Both of these courses I took this term with Eric Wills. Computer Organization is a class where you dive into the intricacies of the processor that runs your computer and learn how to write efficient code. CIS 407 was great because I worked on a term project with a few of my friends, and I networked with local and national companies.

What are you hoping to do with your major, both while you work toward graduation and after? I am hoping to get into Software Engineering after I graduate, and I believe my computer science degree and my experiences are preparing me well for this career path. I will continue to work on personal projects and gain industry experience to ensure that I have the skills I need to succeed.