Allison Allain

Brooklyn, NY, US
Field of Work 
Software
 
Research
Company 
IBM TJ Watson Research
Job Title or "Student" 
Senior Software Engineer
Education 
University of Bradford, UK
Degree 
MSc by Research: AI for Video Games
Education Level 
Masters
Profile Biography 
Allison has been curious about the world around her from day one, being a scientist (of any kind) is about the search to find answers to those questions.

In high school, Allison was involved in a variety of activities including art, debate, drama, orchestra, dance and astronomy. One day, Allison received a graphing calculator for her Calculus class and realized that it could be used for far more than graphing and calculating. She began writing little games for it and passing them around to her friends. Eventually, she started writing programs for computers and discovered that programming was something she could study in school, and not just a distraction from math classes.

After receiving a Bachelor's in Computer Science, Allison knew what she really wanted to do was make video games, so she found a school that would help her focus on Game Development. She spent a year doing research in Artificial Neural Networks, a way of making computer software that is able to learn in the same way the human brain does. By choosing to study Video Games instead of other kinds of software development, Allison was able to use many more of her non-programming skills in her career than she would if she were to make Bank Databases or other kinds of software.

Currently, Allison is a Senior Software Engineer and does research for IBM TJ Watson Research. In her spare time, Allison still engages in many of her beloved hobbies. She plays electric cello, has recorded a rock album, performs aerial circus acrobatics, plays board games and paints on a regular basis.

Finding out what you want to do with your interests can be very difficult, and it's helpful to find adults that share your interests. If you're interested in things that don't seem to relate to the field you want to pursue, it's important to still take classes in those other fields. The very best scientists and engineers that I know are well-rounded; many of them have musical or artistic hobbies. Being creative can help a scientist to ask new questions and find answers to things that have never been discovered!
Interests 
Writing/blogging, Pets, Dance, Computing, Poetry, Reading, Video games, Acting, Other
Race & Ethnicity 
White
Level of Participation 
After-school visit, Field trip participation, In-school visit, Job shadow, Online role model, Summer camp visit
My Experience 
I have been a Role Model many times.
Availability 
Evenings, Weekdays, Weekends, No Preference
Resources 
Identifying other role models

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