Clara Cook, Class of 2021

Clara Cook.


Graduation date: May 2021

Majors: Cognitive Science; Computer Science

Minors: Spanish; Psychology

Hometown: Boston, MA

Campus Involvement: Phi Beta Kappa; Tau Beta Pi; Sigma Delta Pi; College of Arts and Sciences Ambassador; Undergraduate Psychology Association Treasurer; Divtech Member; WiSE Member; Honors College Mentor and Member; IDP Mentor

Experiential Learning Activities: Brookhaven National Laboratory Artificial Intelligence Intern; Systems Programming Teaching Assistant; Applied Human Computer Interaction and Design Teaching Assistant; Neural Cloud Solutions Software Engineering Intern; Psycholinguistics Laboratory Research Assistant; Boston Leadership Institute Head Teaching Assistant

Why did you choose the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary - Cognitive Science major? I was interested in my psychology courses because I love understanding why we work the way we do, but I did not want to just understand, I wanted to take that understanding and make people’s lives easier, using what I learned. Cognitive Science called to me because it took every academic interest and showed me a real-life application, a means of not just studying people but making a difference in those people’s lives. I love solving problems, and I like to think of cognitive science as a field predicated on the idea that there is a way to make our world interactions better. We just have to figure out how.

What have you liked the best about the cognitive science program? The cognitive science program is one of the most supportive groups on campus. The people there make it feel that anything you want to do is achievable because every person in that department is dedicated to making every dream possible, every opportunity attainable, and every door feel open. For example, one of the first classes one can take as a cognitive science major is computer science one. Supportively pushing me out of my comfort zone, I took it and fell in love with designing and problem solving. Once it was clear I liked it, the cognitive science program made it possible to help plan how I could pursue both my cognitive and computer science interests, pointing me along the combinatory path of Human Computer Interaction. They did not want me to merely take some set of computer science courses to complete my requirements, they wanted to help me find ones that I would not only enjoy, but that would support my future goals.

What are you hoping to do in the future? In the future, I want to be a specialist in Human Computer Interaction Design. In this position, I want to design software and systems that make technology more accessible to everyone. Many people come into college or the job market with little to no computer experience, putting them at a severe disadvantage, despite being brilliant, hardworking individuals. If I could design technology that makes that learning curve just a little more manageable, then I feel that I could consider myself successful.