I've spent time at several companies during my undergraduate career, primarily with a focus on data science due to my experience at the time. While I've used computers for most of my life and dabbled in programming a few times before college, my first experience with programming with intent was about two months before college. After switching from engineering to computation, I jumped around with internships and academics using combinations of R, Python, SQL, VBA, C++, Julia, C, Matlab, and many other languages, plus several different other software tools and platforms. Working with people with all kinds of backgrounds and working toward a diverse set of goals over the years has broadened my perspective and given me some invaluable insight into not just what the right tool is for the right job, but how to employ it in a reasonable manner.
I'm from Cary, North Carolina (right outside of Raleigh). My hobbies include music and baking. Of course, I also am passionate about math and computation. I haven't taken as many chances to explore the great outdoors as I wish, but I do enjoy hiking and backpacking on occasion. Personally, I enjoy mentoring other students and ensuring their understanding-- all too often, early experiences in math or computation will turn a student off from the respective topic, and I do my best to show them not just the intrigue of such topics, but the importance of them as well.
I generally try to employ Free and Open Source Software. I advocate, where possible and reasonable, to make software easily accessible to the public. In an academic setting, this is a direct equivalent to the mission of experimental reproducibility so important to the physical sciences. Virtually every profession relies on a stack of open source software. For example, as of writing this down, there are over 60 million users on GitHub, 30 million users on GitLab, and 10 million users on BitBucket. Obviously, there is an enormous amount of overlap here, but this is merely one statistic of how consequential and engrained open source software is (in fact, GitLab is FOSS itself). Almost every programming position out there strongly recommends having experience with Git, so contributing to open source software certainly helps you professionally. In fact, many job postings say that these contributions are a plus on your resume.
Virtually everything we interact with on the internet today is being powered or served by Linux, which is generally free software. Python, Julia, GNU/R, Clang, LLVM, and OpenJDK are all free software (which covers the majority of my computational experience, notably omitting Matlab, Mathematica, and some flavors of SQL). Virtually every modern web browser (Google Chrome, Brave, Vivaldi, Edge) is built on open-source Chromium (with the only notable emission being the free and open source FireFox). Many services (Slack, VS Code, Atom, Spotify) are built on Electron, which is arguably the most influential piece of user-experience focused software of the past ten years. There are many very successful companies from all walks of life that have thrived on creating large deposits of FOSS such as: Canonical, Overleaf, Microsoft, Google, and Julia Computing (my former employer). All this to say-- consider open sourcing your next project and supporting open source software in other ways. Due to the wealth of resources out there to help you, it can be mutually beneficial to both you and the greater community.