Scacco ’21 Conducts Comp. Sci. Research for Air Force Lab
Jack Scacco ’21 has spent the summer working remotely as an intern conducting computer science research for the Air Force Research Lab in Rome, N.Y. Here he describes what he’s learned and what the experience was like for him.
What are you doing for your internship?
I was paired with a mentor, an engineer ... I’ve been spending the summer pretty much in contact with him, working on this project he had intended for me.
What is the project?
It’s a program that takes a message or a file, and it converts into listing coding, which essentially looks like other English texts, or whichever language it’s in, using encoding mechanisms. So [because of the program] you can send a message without it really being apparent that you sent one.
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Downers Grove, Ill.
High School: Downers Grove North High School
How did you learn about the internship?
One of my professors in the Computer Science Department, Mark Bailey, who’s the chair, has done some work through the laboratory over the summer. My sophomore year he recommended that I try to apply but by then it was too late, so I applied this year.
How was the experience?
I was excited to be in a workspace with other interns and other professionals. So, I was a little disappointed that that didn’t happen. But given the circumstances, I think they did a great job with organizing everything, keeping expectations realistic, and also providing an experience where I feel like I was able to develop my professional self.
Are you involved in any extracurriculars on campus?
I’m on the ultimate Frisbee team [and] I’ll be captaining that in whatever capacity we’ll be able to play. This semester, I’m going to be a senior fellow for the COOP [Community Outreach and Opportunity Project], working with Amy James. I will be the head TA for the Computer Science Department, and I will also be working with Jerry Tylutki in the LITS [Library & Information Technology Services] Department.
What are your post-Hamilton plans?
I don’t have one plan for myself, but I definitely want to combine my interest and training in computer science with my passion for helping other people and also somehow incorporate communications into that. … After Hamilton, who knows what the world will be like, but I’m hoping to find some work that I can do that’ll be meaningful for myself and the people that I’m working with.