Undergraduate Spotlight: Paige Rolling

April 19, 2023

In our Undergraduate spotlight, we sit with some of our undergraduate students to learn about their experiences at Iowa State University and in the Department of Computer Science.

girl with a dogMeet Paige Rolling, a junior Computer Science student. She is an undergraduate research assistant, a member of our Student Advisory Council, and enjoys Iowa State's strong sense of community. 

"My biggest advice is to not count yourself out too early. Give yourself time to learn!"

Why did you choose to attend Iowa State University?

I chose to attend Iowa State University because of the great computer science department here and also because my sister went here and she had a great experience. I feel that Iowa State has a really strong community, and I saw that when my sister was here.

What is your favorite thing about Iowa State? What is your favorite thing about Ames?

My favorite thing about Iowa State is the strong sense of community here. It feels like everyone wants to help you succeed. One of my favorite things about Ames is tailgating at the football games. Go Cyclones!

How did you become interested in computer science? What are your specific interests in the field?

My high school didn’t offer any computer science/coding courses, but I learned some on my own throughout high school. I started a social media marketing business when I was in high school, and this developed into also creating websites. I had a lot of fun making websites, so I figured that I’d give computer science a try! After my first semester at Iowa State, I knew that computer science was for me because I loved the first class. My specific interests in the field include web development, app development, and machine learning.

Could you tell us about your research experience on campus? How did you get involved?

I am currently an undergrad research assistant for Dr. Mohammady. We are currently working on optimizing the parameters for differential privacy. Differential privacy is used to keep machine learning models robust against attacks and has applications in self-driving cars and medical imagery.

Could you tell us about your internship experiences?

Last summer, I did an internship at Kingland as a DRA (Data Research Analysis), and this upcoming summer, I will be doing an internship at Cisco Duo Security as a Software Engineering Intern.

Are you involved in any student groups?

Yes, I am the vice president of the Spanish club and on the Computer Science Student Advisory Council. I am doing a minor in Spanish, and the Spanish Club is a fun way to practice the language. For the Computer Science Student Advisory Council, we meet with faculty and work to help represent the student voice for the department.

What are some things you like to do for fun?

I love doing anything outdoors. Growing up, I rode horses, and it’s still something that I love to do whenever I’m home. I also love running, biking, hiking, and boating. I also love going to concerts and doing Bob Ross paintings!

What advice do you have for incoming computer science students?

My biggest advice is to not count yourself out too early. Everyone comes to college with different experiences, and a class that might be easy for other people might not be easy for you. Remember that you’re here to learn and that it should be hard! Give yourself time to learn!

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