Meet Ellen

Computer Science, Physics
Class of ’17

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Hello everyone! I’m Ellen, a senior double majoring in Computer Science and Physics from Irvine, California. On campus, I’ve done research in a composites laboratory on electromagnetic imaging of composite airplane parts. I’ve also been a teaching assistant for the introductory programming class. In addition, I worked as a software engineer at Amazon this summer in Seattle. I also am the captain of the USC Women’s Ice Hockey team! In my free time, I love watching hockey and football , playing video games , and going to concerts with my friends. Keep reading below to learn more about me!

My Favorite Places in LA


I interned as a Software Development Engineer at Amazon last summer. I wrote software that supported financial interactions between Amazon and its third party merchants on the Amazon Marketplace. I also made friends with lots of dogs while I was there! Next fall I’ll be returning full time to work for one of Amazon’s subsidiaries,, in Santa Monica.
I have done research on a physics project for the MC Gill Composites Center, as part of a collaboration with Northrup Grumman. My project involved RF coil and eddy current imaging for the non-destructive evaluation of composite airplane parts.
I joined the Women’s Ice Hockey team freshman year, even though I had never played ice hockey before! A few years and a lot of practice later, I’m now the captain. This is my favorite involvement at USC because it’s where I’ve made some of my best friends.

My Major at USC: Computer Science

My Favorite Classes
While this is one of the toughest classes I have taken, it’s one of my favorites because I learned the most. At the beginning of the semester, we started with a bare bones operating system (think MS-DOS) and added lots of functionality to it like virtual memory, multiprogramming, and networking.
This class was part of a special topics series that I took as a technical elective. We learned lots of different programming languages, focusing on ones that are different from traditional object oriented langues like C++ and Java. I got to code projects in Scheme, Erlang, and Prolog. I even got to build a Scheme interpreter in Java!
Computer Science Blogs
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Computer Science Podcast
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Fun Facts

Listen to my Playlist

My Tips for You


Don't feel pressured to list every last extracurricular activity you've ever remotely been involved in. It's totally cool just to talk about the few things that you're the most interested in.


Everybody has something about them that's totally different, and that's a great place to start for essay topics. It doesn't have to be the most profound or dramatic thing either - sometimes the simplest quirks are the most interesting to read about!

See other tips

Two Truths and a Lie

Can you guess which of these are true or false?
True! When it came down to it, I was deciding between USC and Caltech. I had a few conversations with the coach of the women’s basketball team at Caltech, but ultimately decided to pass it up and go to USC instead.
False! Go check out my Instagram. I have a bit of a dog obsession.

My Favorite Shows

  • Arrested Development is probably my favorite comedy. My whole family watches it together and can quote way too many lines. Plus, it’s set in Orange County, CA, which is where I’m from!

  • 30 Rock is yet another of my favorite comedies. Liz Lemon is the lovable nerd who doesn’t always have her life together – which is so relatable, especially during finals season!

  • Of course, Game of Thrones is my favorite drama. It literally has everything – dragons, magic, historical themes, and lots of strong women. And every episode so such a quality production – it looks like a movie!