Dom Smith chats to MA Computer Science student, Xavier Soriano about how he uses the Martin Trust Center to work on app development, and more.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Xavier Soriano, and I am an exchange student from Ecuador, and I am doing a Masters in Computer Science at MIT. I use the Martin Trust Center to develop, because I am a developer!
What got you into developing?
I started studying maths and physics, and discovered that I wasn’t that happy within that bubble, just being myself and reading. I really like interactions with other people! I got into Computer Science because I could apply math, physics and electrical engineering skills. I slowly moved towards front-end development, and I took that class at MIT. I loved the experience of talking to users and getting feedback. Here I am six years later, still programming!
What are your goals?
My thesis work looks at how the applications that I am currently working on, can be applied in the developing world. In my lab, we try to create Android apps that help proactive community health workers with the tools and measurements that they would otherwise get using rudimentary tools. One of the apps that I worked on, uses the camera on a phone that can take a picture of say, for example, a baby on a baby mat, and then from that picture we can extract the height of the baby for digitization.
This has been very rewarding for me! I went to India and met with community health workers, and saw what their needs. We developed tools for them, and saw how they were doing. I really like this type of work, because it has a positive impact on the world.
How would you suggest students come and use the Martin Trust Center?
I think that these group study spaces are great for working in groups on projects for class, and this is the perfect space to do that. You can come here, meet up with your friends and do some great work, or towards an application.