This year I have covered a lot of ground, researching a variety of different fascinating subjects and learning important technical skills. In the fall, I learned how the basic infrastructure of the internet functions, while the intern cohort conducted an investigation into the specs, usability, accessibility, and ethics of popular content management systems and static site generators. With the research I conducted in the fall, I was able to write a blog post surveying some of the ethical and security issues surrounding web development as a whole. As a part of this blog post, I created infographics that model the information exchange that happens when a web browser requests a resource from a dynamic content management system, vs. a static site generator.
When winter came along, I started diving into learning about security and ethics in digital systems. Although this is still a field I hope to learn a lot more about, I started gaining exposure and familiarity to security principals in Linux and web servers. For the first group project of the term, I drafted and finalized a project proposal with Chris Tordi to revitalize a faculty member’s website that had outgrown its original design. Once that was done, Chris and I began exploring the exciting field of AR, and brainstorming ways we could get involved with AR development on campus. At the end of winter term and into the spring, I developed my project proposal for the “Ethical Considerations for AR/VR Apps” report, which became a central focus of mine during the spring.
This spring, I finished my augmented reality report, during which time I also conducted plenty of research into virtual reality uses in police training, augmented reality development platforms, and, separately, some of the rights and policies laid out in the EU by the GDPR.
Overall, a large theme of this year for me has been learning how to conduct internet research into new, volatile, and sometimes controversial topics. From Gamergate to cybersecurity to augmented reality and beyond, I’ve gained valuable knowledge of current technology issues, and gained experience with drafting research proposals, documenting sources, and synthesizing information into concise and coherent reports. This experience combined with the new technological literacy and coding skills I’ve learned has made this year incredibly productive and beneficial for me.