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Kevin Lubick had his first encounter with computer programming in eighth grade when he used a graphing calculator for the first time. Then, in high school, he took one formal computer science course. That’s all it took to convince him to pursue a career in the field.
“I’ve always loved solving problems,” Kevin says. “I would program the graphing calculators to do all sorts of fun things with triangles and other polygons. I loved tinkering with computers in my spare time, trying to make them do cool, new things.”
Now Kevin is doing even more “cool, new things” at Carthage.
He’s a member of the Carthage Microgravity Team, conducting research on zero-gravity fuel gauge technology for NASA. That project sent him to the Johnson Space Center in Houston in April 2012, and he hopes to return in spring 2013. “We designed a system to measure liquid in a tank in zero-gravity,” Kevin explains. “In April, we took the system down to Texas to fly on the ‘Vomit Comet’ and test it out. I wanted to be involved in this project because a) space, NASA and zero-gravity are awesome; b) I learn a lot about professional prototyping, testing and systems engineering; and c) it’s a lot of fun.”
Kevin spent the summer of 2012 working with Carthage computer science professor Mark Mahoney, and later presented that research at SPLASH, a premier computer programming conference.
He’s also a member of Carthage’s new RockSat team, competing for a spot in NASA’s sounding rocket program. In July 2012, he participated in NASA’s RockOn! Workshop at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, working with physics professor Kevin Crosby to send the College’s first payload into space.
He chose Carthage because of the multitude of undergraduate research options. Since he plans to go on to graduate school after Carthage, he knows that research experience will be a vital part of his application. He also appreciates the fact that the Computer Science Department at Carthage is relatively small. He said the small classes allow for more one-on-one time with the professors, whom he described as “absolutely brilliant. They really know their stuff.”
His minor in Spanish stands out on his resume, which is filled with studies in natural sciences. “The minor in Spanish makes me more well-rounded because I learn about people, and ultimately science in all forms is used to help people,” he says.
During J-Term 2012, Kevin participated in a study tour to Honduras to learn about aquatic ecosystems. The trip included learning to scuba dive so that the students could explore the ecosystem of a large coral reef.
Read more about this study tour.
“To work as a Computer Engineer. Or, do something that I enjoy.”
“Dr. Tim ‘Uncle Tim’ Eckert. He taught my Forensic Science J-Term course and always kept it lively and enjoyable.”
“I enjoyed my Electronics (PHY 3120) class because it was very hands on and had a ‘discover it yourself’ sort of feel. It tested my problem-solving skills and gave me an experimental physics experience, which contrasted all of my previous theoretical learning.”
“Electronics, for the same reasons it was my favorite.”
“I am vice president of Math Club and an active participant in the Society of Physics Students, and I am on the Pep Band as well.”
Favorite moments at Carthage
“Playing snow football out in the stadium with 10 inches of fresh snow. Cheering on the men’s football team in a Homecoming come-from-behind-win in the Pep Band. Having class on the hill overlooking the lake.”
Advice for other students considering your major
“Find a minor that you enjoy that supplements computers. It will broaden what you can do with computers and ultimately make you more marketable.”