Shannon Shih is a TA for CS 6603: AI, Ethics, and Society. Keep reading to learn more about Shannon!
What do you do professionally?
I am a software development manager at NuVasive, which is a medical device company that specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery. I get to work on a lot of neat software that helps improve patient lives, which is incredibly rewarding. My work these days focuses on planning project roadmaps, identifying feature requirements, managing engineering teams, and ensuring work is on-track for completion. Before my management days, I specialized in the field of mobile technology, specifically iOS (Swift), Xamarin (C#), and Android (Java). When I find a way to get out from under my back-to-back meetings, I hope to expand my skillset to web technologies and artificial intelligence.
Why do you TA for OMSCS?
TAs are the backbone to the OMSCS program. They shape the success of the class and its students. Given the sheer size of each OMSCS class, TAs truly bridge the gap between the professor and the students. It is because TAs play such a crucial role, I wanted to be a part of that team that could bring positive impact and meaningful change to the class. Additionally, in my own OMSCS journey, I had many TAs contribute to my learning and success. As a graduate, I wanted the opportunity to give back to the program and shape the journey of other OMSCS students.
What is your advice for future OMSCS students?
I don’t have any “one-size-fits-all” advice. I do have many learnings from my OMSCS experience (some of which I wished I followed better).
Time management is important. Try to start on assignments as early as possible, so you can have the time to learn the material and complete the assignment. There is nothing more frustrating and stressful than trying to complete a homework assignment that you don’t understand with a countdown clock. Also, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to ask questions and to get help. There is definitely someone in class with the same question and there is someone in class with an answer. Lastly, try not to stress and just do the best you can. Everything else will fall into place (99% of the time).
What do you like about TA-ing for CS 6603: AI, Ethics, and Society?
One of my favorite assignments from class is the Facebook assignment, where we ask students to download a copy of the data that Facebook has on them. For the assignment, it doesn’t have to be Facebook, it can be any social media platform that is currently being used. The students are then asked to analyze that data and assess how relevant it is to their interests. As a TA, I find the results are always interesting, especially for the students when they see how closely or how far off Facebook’s predictions are to their interests.
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