Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction

College of Information Studies

University of Maryland
4105 Hornbake Bldg, South Wing
4130 Campus Drive
College Park, MD 20742

 

hcim@umd.edu

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FRIDAY FORUM: Rachael Marr

October 21, 2016

 

 

Friday Forum is here! It's a chance for everyone to get to know our HCIM cohort. Catch up every week to learn about the diverse backgrounds that makeup UMD's HCIM. 

 

What year are you in the HCIM program?

I am a second year. 

 

Where are you originally from?

I am from just up the road! Over in Silver Spring, MD.

 

What was your undergraduate degree in?

I have two, one in Japanese Language Literatures and Culture from UMD, and one in Graphic Design from The Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago. 

 

Do you have an work experience ? If so, what did you do and for how long? 

I used to be a Portfolio Analyst for a commercial lender in Friendship Heights for two years, and I was a graphic designer for a National Non-profit in DC for 3 years. I am also currently the GA for the HCIM program. 

 

Why did you choose UMD's HCIM program?

I was looking to take my design background to the next level, and I came across UMD's program. I knew it was the right fit for me when I toured the facility with Dr. Elmqvist. I loved the small class size and the fact that it was part of UMD, so I could take advantage of all that College Park has to offer. 

 

What classes are you taking this semester?

I'm taking INST 728D - Interactive Design Methods and INST 775 - HCIM Capstone Preparation.

 

What is your favorite class so far in the program?

That's a tough one, but I think I would have to say INST 632—HCI Design Methods. My group and I came up with an application to make traveling easier called Nomad. I learned a lot in that class, not only about HCI, but also how to effectively design a product in a group. 

 

What is one thing you wish you knew before coming to UMD?

I wish I had studied the parking lots a little more closely, I probably would not have chosen to park in Lot 1! 

 

After school, what is your dream job?

I would love to be a User Experience Designer.

 

Do you have any hidden talents?

I can speak Japanese, which is a little strange, and I lived there for a year. Taking math in Japanese is not as hard as you would think. In my time in Japan, I joined the Japanese tea ceremony club and learned how to serve tea. It's actually a lot harder and more nuanced than I had ever imagined. You have to walk a certain number of steps, whisk the tea a certain amount of times, and be very conscious of your movements. I am pretty bad at it, so I am not sure if its a talent so much as something I have tried. 

 

What was the last TV show you watched?

Unfortunately, I am addicted to True Crime stories, and Mysteries at the Museum, so it was probably one of those shows. Although with Halloween coming up I have been binge watching a lot of "True Monster" shows, about why we have "monsters" and what role they play in the human experience. 

 

What is the last book you read?

I am currently in the middle of "Ghostland", by Colin Dickey. Its about America's ghost stories and how they affect American culture. One surprising fact I learned from the book was that the Winchester Mystery House is totally made up! Anyway, I definitely recommend it!