Friday, March 11, 2016

FWS Student Highlights: Milos Stevanovic

Computer programming has an ever increasing importance in today’s life. Past semester at George Mason University I was lucky enough to be recommended by Dr. Daniel Garrison for a research project led by Dr. Setareh Rafatirad. The task was to apply my programming skills to develop a solution for anonymous data collection and big data processing at the Department of Information Sciences and Technology at Volgenau School of Engineering.

I have been working with computers my whole life. But one process that significantly escalated my knowledge of Information Technology is when I started working on this project. The project came for me at the right moment considering that I was only two semesters away from graduating. This meant that I could apply all my skills learned at Mason in one real-world problem-solving exercise. Understanding the basics of mathematical logic was just the beginning. Organizational skills, such as time-management, and soft skills to properly communicate ideas with my mentor were equally important. Not to mention other project management skills! Eventually, Information Technology is a multi-discipline where the process and technology meet people.

Something new that I have learned in my research position is that in order to be productive, I must be effective and efficient. To effectively approach a problem, I must communicate my ideas clearly and to be efficient I must split the project into smaller, more manageable pieces. These pieces became my weekly tasks. That is how I progressed throughout this complex project.

The most challenging aspect of my research position was to push the limits of my current knowledge in a daily effort to solve a problem. This required learning about the cutting edge, fast-moving technologies and altering the way I think and approach problems every day. Yet, upon successful implementation of a solution, this process was very rewarding.

I am assured that this experience as a Research Assistant at George Mason University will be the capstone for my future endeavors in the world of Information Technology. This valuable experience was possible thanks to the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research. Thank you OSCAR!