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Meet Fall 2020 Hokie Grad: Samie Amriui

Class of 2020 fall graduate Samie Amriui. Photo taken before COVID-19.
Class of 2020 fall graduate Samie Amriui. Photo taken before COVID-19.

As the saying goes, ‘hindsight is 20/20’, as graduating senior Samie Amriui reflects on what advice he would offer his freshman self. “I would tell myself to get involved in the campus community as early as possible, as well as learn scripting languages on my own time to develop a familiarity as they end up being useful later on.”

 “The best aspect of Virginia Tech is the community environment because everyone is here to help you realize your vision of success,” said Amriui.

Amriui was drawn to the computer science program because he wanted to engage in creative work requiring careful deliberation. “It was more of a skillset you could pick up on to develop a potential to engage in a variety of subjects across every major.”

Invited to join the Computer Systems (CS) Genome team by Margaret Ellis, professor of practice, Amriui said he began to feel a sense of ownership and responsibility. “This was the first time I worked within a team software development environment. I learned team dynamics and skill sets that I would carry over into the future. I continue to learn that dynamics in the workplace are not too far off from what they are within the CS Genome project.”

The CS Genome team giving their updates and presentations in May 2020.
The CS Genome team giving their updates and presentations in May 2020.

“Samie is dedicated to advancing his frontend development skills and has been coaching new students on the team about learning D3.js (state-of-the-art JavaScript library) as he prepares to graduate,” said Ellis.

Amriui achieved a significant milestone within the CS Genome project, applying his D3.js knowledge to create a compelling interactive map visualization of supercomputers around the world. 

Looking back on his undergraduate experience, there are some distinct classes and professors that had a pivotal impact on Amriui. “My most valuable experience was when I was beginning to understand computer science for the first time with David McPherson. He opened up this new world to me and made it seem not only learnable, but fun and exciting.” 

As far as favorite classes, it was CS 2114 for Amriui because that’s when he started to ‘get’ computer science and had some independent experience with designing and planning out projects before writing code for it. “Professor Cao was my favorite professor because he was able to take a challenging class and teach it really well while making it fun and learnable.”

Looking ahead, Amriui plans to take a few months off before starting his professional career. “I look forward to learning more about new technologies and getting to know the field better than I did while an undergraduate.” He also has a personal interest in using technology to positively impact people, as he has a cochlear implant, a small electronic device that electrically stimulates the cochlear nerve for hearing.

“I want to see more accessibility to advance automated captioning technology for people with similar conditions to be able to feel more comfortable and included in their surroundings that involve auditory perception.” 

— Written by Jacquelyn Noel, communications intern for the Department of Computer Science