Have you ever wondered what Wordle would have looked like in the Windows 98 era? Computer science student Kavin Dhanapal has, and reimagining the popular game was one of the ways he uses technology to creatively explore his curiosity. “For me, computers were always magical. Something about the process of getting work done on a machine that can do an infinite number of tasks entices me to this day,” said Dhanapal.
Dhanapal is originally from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India but spent most of his life in Wisconsin due to his father’s job. His family traveled back and forth between India and the United States throughout his K-12 educational career. He spent half of high school in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, where he explored his passions for computers on the FIRST Robotics team (3418 Robo Riot) and got introduced to MSOE.
“Many of my robotics mentors were from MSOE. I learned about the rigorous academic nature of MSOE and how hands-on the university was,” said Dhanapal. “I liked that MSOE got directly into the applications of computer science and didn’t waste much time going over the theoretical aspects of my major.”
At MSOE, Dhanapal values the hands-on learning, friendly professors and raw computational power he can tap into. “Classes here really lean on the ‘show don’t tell’ mentality. This has allowed me to be creative with almost every assignment I turn in.”
Dhanapal put his technical creativity into action over the summer as the web development intern at Generac. Thanks to his courses, he felt confident in his ability to work with others and complete his assigned projects.
“The professional standards maintained at MSOE helped me feel right at home the second I started pushing code at my internship. The deep understanding of topics that MSOE gave me proved to be useful when talking to coworkers and managers about tasks and issues, and the creativity that MSOE helped me hone has allowed me to make my code standout while working on the various web applications that Generac manages.”
Not only was he able to code real-world projects, but he also gained valuable insight on the innerworkings of corporate companies in America and how to approach problems in a team setting. “The concept of ‘one correct solution’ doesn’t exist at MSOE for the most part, and that helped me immensely with the transition into a more professional environment through my internship.”
When he’s not at school or work, Dhanapal can be found working on his iOS app or playing Nintendo with his friends. After graduation he hopes to continue to utilize his computer science knowledge in a job that challenges him and pushes him to new heights.