When Richard Sear ‘21 enrolled at the School of Engineering and Applied Science, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to study. “What drew me to GW was its brand new engineering building and its reputation for student involvement in both research and internships,” he reflects. “I knew that whatever major I chose, I would be able to get a lot of hands-on experience.” Sear ultimately chose to pursue a degree in computer science; he cited an orientation class he took his first year as “an excellent way of helping me figure out my interests and narrow down my options.”
Sear greatly enjoyed being a part of the university’s various student organizations as an undergraduate, participating in groups such as GW Robotics, the Tabletop Gaming Society, and the GW Undergraduate Review (GWUR). “I joined the GWUR as the layout manager, which meant I got to design the journal from the ground up,” Sear explains. “This was a great way for me to entertain my interest in publication layout and design without needing to fit an art class in my schedule. I’m so happy to see the excellent work GWUR has managed to showcase.” Sear encourages students to consider forming their own groups highlighting their passions. “If you have an interest and some fellow zealots, make it official,” he says.
As a student, Sear was named to the Dean’s List and inducted into the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. Next year, he will formally become a part of an interdisciplinary research group in GW's physics department with which he has been involved for over two years. Eventually, Sear hopes to pursue opportunities at the Johns Hopkins Human Language Technology Center of Excellence, where he interned in the summer of 2019, and he is also interested in exploring a graduate degree. “SEAS prepared me for these opportunities by encouraging me to reach out to professors whose work I found interesting, and by providing a skillset that is translatable to many fields,” Sear reflects. “Understanding machine learning and, more generally, good programming, has allowed me to make many unique contributions to my team’s research.