- Network security
- Signal processing
- Cyber-physical systems
- Autonymous systems
- Operating systems
- Computational theory
- Graph theory
- Theory of algorithms
- Software security
- Machine learning
Virginia Tech Graduate Student Celebrates Diversity in the World of Technology
With an early educational background in art, Tara Laughlin initially didn’t think there was space for someone like her in technology-related fields. She soon realized her differences would be an asset.
“I had never taken AP Computer Science, I wasn’t interested in robotics, and I’ve never built a computer from scratch,” said Laughlin at the recent Innovation Campus Groundbreaking where she was a featured speaker. “I didn’t think I fit the mold of what the typical successful [computer science] student looked like.”
“I learned how valuable my different perspective was and how having my degree in art actually allowed me to thrive,” said Laughlin, who graduated from Virginia Tech in 2019 with degrees in computer science and creative technologies. “I am passionate about the software I develop, but the thing I care about the most is people. I care about how people interact with software, and how well they understand how to use it.”
“My goal is to create a movement in the software industry that is focused on accessibility and inclusion. Empathy is the backbone of successful software, and creating things with all kinds of people in mind is the direction I hope that this field will go,” she said.
This fall, Laughlin started her Master of Engineering (M.Eng) in Computer Science and Applications. She entered the Innovation Campus Master’s program, which is currently holding classes in Virginia Tech’s Falls Church location, as a member of the inaugural class of Boeing Scholars.
“As a Hokie, I am committed to serve others and help people to the best of my ability,” Laughlin said. “I’ve spent six years developing technological products that meet human needs, yet I still feel like I have so much to learn about how to create tech that provides equal opportunity for all its users.”
“At the end of the day, [Tara’s] voice is going to be the only voice that matters,” said Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun as he introduced Tara at the Innovation Campus Groundbreaking Ceremony. “She is the embodiment of our future. Period. All of her peers, they are the embodiment of our future.”
Enrollment Success Team
- International Oct. 1
- Domestic Nov. 1
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More about Virginia Tech
Department of Computer Science
Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Transforming wireless connections for connected cities
- 9 Shanghai Ranking’s National Ranking of Academic Subjects (EE)
- U.S. News and World Report graduate programs: T19 (EE), T18 (CPE)
- 4th largest ECE department in the U.S.
- 140 teaching faculty
- NSF 2019 research expenditures report ranked ECE in 7th place nationally ($60.8M)