Jesus Yuriar’s decision to come to ASU was not without challenges. Born and raised in Mexico, he had never lived away from home and didn’t know English well.
To acclimate, Jesus joined the International Club. The group offered an instant family of students going through a similar experience far from home, and the chance to practice English.
He also dove into studies, pursuing a degree in computer science engineering. “I’ve always been excited about creating stuff. With computers, in just a few hours I can do something amazing,” he says.
Over the past two years, Jesus has been the only undergraduate on a team working on a project that helps blind people “see” by printing photos on a special tactile printer.
“The hardware part was there, but they didn’t have the ability to render something that feels like a nose, for example,” he says.
Jesus says that he didn’t have hands-on experience prior to the project. At first, he was given small assignments, and never knew that all of the work would come together.
“It is much different than a classroom where you are instructed. I had the freedom to do anything that I wanted and see which options worked best,” he says. “I gained from my team’s knowledge and worked even harder. It’s even better knowing that I am helping people.”
For his senior design project, Jesus is working with Intel to create a software platform that makes it easier to build and program robots.
“Coding can take weeks or months. This platform enables students to basically drag and drop options without the need for extensive programming expertise,” he says.
In his final semester at ASU, Jesus is working as a teacher’s assistant. “I am really enjoying the teaching experience. I want to help other students find their path. I can show them how the stuff that seems boring now will be useful in the future.”
Jesus is proud of how much he has accomplished since he started at ASU. He still misses family, but says that friends help provide the support and “remind you that you are here to work toward an education and better life.”
Jesus will graduate with a degree in computer science engineering this May. He would like to get industry experience, and then possibly return to school.