2020-03-18: Travis Reid (Computer Science PhD Student)

My name is Travis Reid and I joined the Web Science and Digital Libraries (WS-DL) research group at Old Dominion University (ODU) as a Ph.D. student during the Spring 2020 semester. I decided on joining the PhD program, because I wanted to further my education, learn more about different research areas, and see how it is like being a researcher. My advisers are Dr. Michele Weigle and Dr. Michael Nelson. Some of my research interests are information visualization and digital libraries.

I have enjoyed my first semester in the PhD program, because there is a variety of tasks that I do. During this semester I have been able to take CS 800 and CS 864, I am a full-time Teaching Assistant (TA), and I am working on a task for the WS-DL group. In CS 800, I have learned more about graduate school and how it is like being a researcher. In CS 864, I have learned about blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and smart contracts. For the full-time TA position I have graded assignments and instructed labs and recitations. For the WS-DL group, the current task I am working on is to learn about the tools from the Archives Unleashed Project and to see how these tools can be used to perform analysis on a web archive collection. The tools from the Archives Unleashed Project are the Archives Unleashed CloudArchives Unleashed NotebooksWarclight, and Archives Unleashed Toolkit. Archives Unleashed Cloud is a tool that can analyze an Archive-It collection and then create derivatives like network diagrams, a domain visualization, and text based derivatives. Archives Unleashed Notebooks are Jupyter Notebooks that can be used to work with the derivatives that are created by the Archives Unleashed Cloud. Warclight is a search engine that can be used to discover web archives. Archives Unleashed Toolkit is an advanced tool that can be used for analyzing web archives. While working on this task, the WS-DL group has been helpful with answering my questions and they give useful suggestions that help improve my work.

TCC graduation 2015
I received an associate degree in Computer Science from Tidewater Community College (TCC) and I received my bachelors and masters degrees in Computer Science from ODU. During the masters program at ODU, I received two graduate certificates which are a Cybersecurity certificate and a Modeling and Simulation certificate.

My first two years of college were at TCC. When I went to TCC, I took most of my courses in-person except for my Art History course. One of my favorite elective courses that I took at TCC was my Martial Arts course. In my Martial Arts course I learned about Judo. This course was one of the reasons why I began wanting to learn more about different martial arts. Some of the other elective courses that I found interesting were my Physics courses and Psychology course.

ODU graduation 2017
The last two years of my undergraduate program were at ODU. During these two years, I took most of my courses online except for my Accounting courses. Some of the elective courses that I liked taking were my Accounting courses, Cybersecurity courses, and IT courses. For my IT courses I learned about app development with Visual Basic.NET and GUI programming with C++.

ODU graduation 2019
During the masters program at ODU, I did the online course only option. For this MS option, I took 11 Computer Science courses. I liked the courses I have taken during this program, because I was able to learn about multiple different areas in Computer Science. Some of the courses that I found interesting were the Information Visualization course, Cybersecurity courses, Bioinformatics course, High Performance Computing course, Modeling and Simulation course, Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing course, and Web Programming course.

Some of the work I have done outside of school involved tutoring and developing Unity apps. For tutoring, I helped high school and college students in the areas of Algebra and Physics. For Unity app development, I work on solving problems that involve computer graphics.

After finishing the PhD program, I do not know the exact job that I would like to do, but it should involve solving interesting problems and learning more about one or more areas that I am interested in. Some jobs that I may be interested in are being a researcher, data scientist, or software engineer.

-- Travis Reid