Summer Spotlight: Maya Malavasi

Maya Malavasi

Year: Third-year
Major: Computer Science
Minors: Mechanical Manufacturing, Philosophy of Science, History

Throughout the spring and summer, Malavasi was an intern at NASA Glenn Research Center! See what she shared about the experience.

How did you find this opportunity?

Through the computer science department bulletin newsletter.

What're the details of your internship?

I worked with NASA Glenn Research Center on virtual reality (VR) projects for experimental electrified aircraft in development. The main part of my internship was developing animations, graphics, and VR applications to be able to virtually interact with project concepts, mechanical engine models, or data visualizations. I frequently attended and worked at outreach events, attended conferences, and interacted with children to bring awareness of the work GRC does.

What has been the best experience so far?

A couple other interns and I were exploring the NASA Glenn Research Center campus, and we met a couple engineers in the Engine Research Building who were thrilled to have interns curious about what they were doing and interested in looking around. So they gave us a tour of five different labs, the basement, the vacuum chambers, the rover testing site, and the big wind tunnel. It was fantastic! A couple interns and I also met up on weekends to sketch at the metroparks, the CMA, downtown Cleveland, and even at boba shops.

What're you looking to get out of this experience?

- Experience developing software in a professional context
- Learn how to use graphics and development tools, including Blender, Unity, Javascript, WebAR, VR hardware, etc.
- Connecting with other interns and networking
- Learning different fields in which I can apply my skills

What's your best piece of advice for students who might be looking for a similar opportunity?

1) Read the newsletters! You never know what you will find.
2) If someone suggests an outing, just say yes even if you don't feel like it at that moment. It's a unique opportunity and you'll end up having fun.
3) Come to some local fairs or events! You never know who you might meet, and networking is invaluable.

How did CWRU and CSE prepare you?

- A lot of the tougher classes at CWRU prepared me for how I needed to pace myself and break down larger projects into smaller pieces to start off.
- I had a basic understanding of a lot of mechanical principles, physics principles, and general knowledge, and a much deeper understanding of computer science, so it was comparatively easy for me to pick up any project and apply my knowledge to understand it.
- Thank you to the CWRU alum network! My mentor was a CWRU alum, and I met a ton of people through him and through conferences at CWRU