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‘Cats Walk: Oscar Resindez speaks on artificial intelligence, internships


Texas State electrical engineering senior Oscar Resindez smiles with the Dell-funded robot he is working on, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022 at the Ingram School of Engineering. The robot will be working with the San Marcos firefighters in future semesters.

‘Cats Walk is a weekly segment that will highlight Texas State students. Each week, Web Editor Monica Vargas will talk to a different Bobcat about school, self-love and Texas State.
For this segment, Monica interviewed Oscar Resindez, electrical engineering senior with a concentration in computer engineering. Resindez interned with IBM this summer doing research in MIT labs. He is also the president of the Society of Hispanic Professionals Engineers (SHPE) at Texas State.
Oscar Resendiz’s favorite quote: “It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgments concerning them.” -Epictetus
Vargas: When did you get into computer engineering?
Oscar Resindez: I went to Austin Community College and was in the mechanical engineering-required computer language class. Python was my first which is in a lot of artificial intelligence.
Vargas: Tell me about your journey landing your first internship as a software engineer. Was it challenging?
Oscar Resindez: During my internship search for 2022, I knew I wanted to land a software engineering role. I had previously worked in the oil and gas industry but desired to branch out to Big Tech. In my journey of finding an internship, I applied to several Big Tech companies and did multiple rounds of interviews with the big names. I was rejected by many, but I continued onward with the technical interviews with my grit.
During my search, I got blessed with the opportunity to join IBM Research as an AI software engineer at a joint lab with MIT. I immediately jumped on that opportunity and rescinded the other interview processes.
Out of the 40 interns in the lab, I was one of three undergrads. Surrounded by top researchers and graduate students from MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Berkeley, etcetera, I immediately felt imposter syndrome. This only got worse as I realized I was the only Hispanic employee at the lab. I reached out to many mentors and co-workers and soon realized that even they felt this feeling, which is normal for software engineers new to the industry or even with experience. I soon came to the realization that to even feel imposter syndrome meant that you are in a situation that someone from your background is not accustomed to. I used this to my advantage and worked hard to make the most out of my time at Cambridge University.
Throughout my time at Cambridge University, I was able to dive deep into artificial intelligence. I enjoyed working on the state of the art of AI and developing a cutting-edge framework that will benefit the future of Neuro-Symbolic AI.
Being able to spend a summer outside of Texas was also a life-changing experience. I was able to experience Boston with various interns that have become close friends of mine.
At first, being an undergrad from a state university fueled my doubts, but by the end of the internship, it made me feel proud that I had reached that type of internship with my background, especially as a first-generation Mexican American.
From this experience, I can confidently say that hard work and a clear vision will allow you to be exposed to various opportunities that you normally do not think are obtainable.
Vargas: How did you become the president of SHPE? What was the process like?
Oscar Resindez: I started off as an officer. We basically help with organizing the events and give ideas on how we can add or improve the organization and our members. Then this year is my first year as an appointed president of SHPE.
Vargas: How do you balance leading the organization plus the research, classes and projects you are committed to?
Oscar Resindez: I’m a big advocate of time-blocking. Scheduling my time and future events. You have to plan or time can be wasted. Every minute matters.
Vargas: Who inspires you?
Oscar Resindez: My parents. They have a ranch and oversee agriculture on their ranch in a small town in Mexico. I am a first-generation college student. They work very hard and have the grit to help take care of the family and ranch. They support me in getting educated. I appreciate their hard work ethic and I have come to those same work ethics. I was born and raised in Austin.
Vargas: Tell me three things you love about yourself.
Oscar Resindez: Definitely my unending childlike curiosity, which I noticed tends to die off through time for most people. Learning different new skill sets and diverse disciplines. I loved how Leonardo Da Vinci was all over the place with curiosity and achieved so much.
I love that I appreciate liberal arts. I am a romantic type, even though they seem dull to most, I tend to gravitate to romance inspirations in the artistic realm.
I love that I’m an avid reader and find enjoyment in factual and fiction books. I appreciate short stories, critically acclaimed literature and philosophy.
Vargas: What do you do for fun when you are not in the computer lab with robotics?
Oscar Resindez: My free time I love art, piano, guitar and learning about music theory. I created for fun a digital jukebox with computer engineering. A smart application, that you scan a card RFID and it plays albums. I create my own jazz improvisation.
Vargas: What music do you love to dance to?
Oscar Resindez: Depends on the people I am with. Bachata, Salsa, Norteña, Cardi, Kendrick Lamar.
Vargas: Favorite music to study and do projects to?
Oscar Resindez: Erik Satie the composer and album “No. 1.
Vargas: Favorite book?
Oscar Resindez: “How to Think Like a Roman Emperor” by Donald J. Robertson.
Vargas: Is there anything you would like to say to anyone interested in computer software engineering or in general?
Oscar Resindez: Liberal arts can teach a lot about what it means to be a human. Most innovation comes from liberal arts, so be curious.
Oscar Resindez’s Instagram: @_shugazi.
To keep up with students featured in ‘Cats Walk visit The University Star’s Instagram @universitystar.

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