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Coding wiz Vivian Ng ’20 is a computer science major on the NYC Campus who knows all the ins and outs of Seidenberg as a student assistant. What first got her into coding? Tumblr.

Vivian Ng ’20 is a computer science major on the NYC Campus. She’s worked as a student assistant for Seidenberg for more than two years, was an intern at the New York Road Runners nonprofit, and even received a grant for her research into augmented reality and its positive uses for high school students with autism. With all the incredible work that she’s doing at Pace, choosing a college must have been a walk in the park.

Not exactly.

“After multiple unsuccessful open houses and campus tours, Pace was actually my last stop,” Ng explained to us. “Right away, I could tell that Seidenberg was different than the other schools. It was much smaller and the community was tight knit, just the way I liked it.” There, she got the chance to meet Dean Jonathan Hill, DPS, and Assistant Dean of Recruitment and Retention Stephanie Elson.

“I was so nervous that I couldn’t even make my way over to some of the faculty lingering around, but Dean Hill walked right up to me with a warm smile and introduced himself. He handed me one of his business cards and the nervousness I was feeling dissipated.” She took that opportunity to ask questions about Seidenberg; what on-campus jobs they offered, the student-teacher ratio, and more. “He personally took the time to answer them all. Everything about Pace was screaming out to me and I knew I had to attend the school.”

So what convinced her to pursue a major in computer science? Social media, of course!

“Funnily enough, Tumblr brought me into the world of computer science and web development, which is what I would like to pursue as a career after I graduate,” Ng said. “When the social media platform was still at its peak [in] popularity, I experimented with editing theme codes and found that a few lines of code easily changed what I was looking at.” And when she showed up to take her first class in computer science, it became clear pretty quickly that she’d made the right choice.

That class was called “Mathematical Structures for Computer Science” taught by Francis Parisi, PhD, and it left a profound impact on Ng. “A big part of why it left such a large impact on me was because Dr. Parisi went above and beyond to help my peers and I understand a subject that at times was difficult to grasp.” She explained that taking advantage of a professor’s office hours was also key in understanding of the course material.

“I think of Seidenberg as a second home because everyone is like family,” Ng went on. She has attributed her work as a Seidenberg student assistant as the most rewarding experience she’s had at Pace thanks to those strong relationships. But it wasn’t always this easy. “One of the biggest challenges that I had to overcome when I first started was working in such a fast-paced environment. I remember being so overwhelmed with the tasks that were assigned to me, but everyone was very welcoming and helped me adjust quickly.”

Just recently, Ng took on the impressive task of applying for—and ultimately being awarded—funding for the esteemed Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Program, along with Professor Jim Lawler, DPS. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would get the opportunity to conduct research with a professor during my time here as a student,” she said. The two worked closely with a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing advanced technological resources to students with learning differences.

“Virtual reality has yet to make its mark on education, especially for students with learning differences. It hasn’t even scratched the surface yet.” This often made gathering evidence very difficult, Ng explained. “After I completed my research, I realized that there were people out there who did what I had to do for an entire year, on a day-to-day basis as a career. It was one of the most educational and humbling experiences that I got to be a part of.”

With all her accomplishments here at Pace, Ng had very straightforward advice for anyone looking to do the same: “Take risks, be proactive, and don’t be afraid of what may lie ahead.”

What's your Pace Path? Do you or someone you know have an interesting Pace story? We want to hear from you. Send us an email!

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