Interdisciplinary nature of computer science led Mary Joseph to Johns Hopkins

March 31, 2021

Mary JosephA Marvel Universe enthusiast who occasionally dabbles in the painting, Mary Joseph first learned about the STEM field during her early childhood.

“When I was six or seven, I got my hands on a VHS tape and broke it,” said Joseph, a double major in computer science and applied mathematics statistics with a minor in entrepreneurship and management. When I couldn’t put it back together, that caused quite an issue with my parents, but my intent was to see how it worked. My parents, aside from me breaking things, were very supportive of my interest in becoming an engineer.”

A senior who plans to graduate this May, Joseph is in the combined bachelor’s/master’s degree program. She is a member of JHU Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the South Asian Students at Hopkins. Her computer science advisor is Russ Taylor, John C. Malone Professor in the Department of Computer Science, and the director of the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics.

To learn more about Joseph, check out this brief Q&A.

Where are you from?

My parents immigrated from Kerala, India to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when I was two years old. When I was five, we moved to Marlton, New Jersey. Both of my parents are engineers who came to the United States for better job opportunities.

Tell us about an early experience in STEM that stands out.

In high school, I joined the robotics team and that was my first formal experience of seeing a lot of different engineering disciplines come together and integrate, creating a product from start to finish.

Why did you choose Hopkins?

What really stood out to me about Hopkins was that whoever I talked with – whether it be faculty or staff – always emphasized that interdisciplinary learning was something that was encouraged at Hopkins. It is true and at the end of four years, you will have learned a whole spectrum of things.

What are your summer plans?

I plan to spend time with family before I start my job as a software developer for JHU Applied Physics Lab in the fall. It is currently undecided if we will be in person or not.

What advice do you have for incoming first -year students?

I encourage first-year students to join organizations early on in their academic careers. It is important to get with a community of people who understand your challenges and can help you along the way.

What are some extra-curricular activities that you have been doing during the pandemic?

I’ve been learning to cook some traditional Indian dishes. I also have enjoyed painting with acrylics.

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