Student Profile: Tiwalayo Eisape

Tiwalayo Eisape

Basic Info

My name is Tiwalayo Eisape and I am a first generation Nigerian American from New Jersey. I am a senior in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences ('19) Majoring in Computer Science (B.S.) with minors in Mathematics and Philosophy.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about the implications Artificial Intelligence has on Cognitive Science and vice versa. I think language is particularly interesting because it is a window into the human mind that is still being fleshed out. Furthermore, the human language system handles issues of meaning that could have implications on a large array of other brain processes.

Recent developments in AI have produced models (mainly models of vision) that process information in a very similar way to the human brain, I want to build off these to develop models of the language system that boost the capability of NLP algorithms as well as shed light on the way humans learn language.

(And no, the philosophical implications of machines with cognition is not lost on the philosophy minor in me!)

What do you do on campus?

I’m more productive when I keep busy, so I like to stay involved! I am an Eagle Technician for BC ITS. I act as a liaison to community service partners throughout Boston as a council member in the PULSE program for service learning. I am a Resident Assistant on the Multicultural Learning Experience floor. I have been the teaching assistant for various Computer Science courses including Computer Science 1, Computational Models of Cognition, and Data Mining (currently). I’m a research assistant in the Language Learning Lab at Boston College where I investigate language and how it is learned, represented, and generated from computational, neurological and psychological lenses. Lastly, freshman year I was one of the captains of Boston College's Varsity Men’s rowing team!

Why Computer Science?

I was a Math Major (B.S) freshman year and I found myself in a Computer Science class purely to fulfill the science portion of the B.S degree. What I didn't expect was how natural Computer Science felt.

Coming from an under-resourced inner-city school, I did not have access to AP courses or high-caliber lab experiences. I felt I had to constantly play catch up in many of my classes during my first year of college. Computer Science was a different story. As a subject not widely taught in high schools (something that needs to change!!!), I felt I was in a class with less people who had a high school head start. I really appreciated the ability to explore such a dynamic topic without feeling at a disadvantage as I felt in other classes. I immediately began gravitating toward Computer Science.

Furthermore, I found something uniquely beautiful about being able to engineer completely original code and submit it for evaluation. Each problem set in Computer Science 1 felt like an artistic endeavor─ a small authorship where the code could take many different shapes from week to week. It was the first time I felt creatively free in the classroom as I was able to architect unique solutions to interesting problems.

What has been your favorite class so far? (Computer Science related or otherwise)?

Ok, tough question. It would be a tie between PULSE and Computational Models of Cognition. PULSE is a service learning course here at BC, I enjoyed it because it allowed me get off campus and actively work with diverse communities in order to give back.

Computational Models of Cognition was a great course because it aligns directly with my research interests! This was a cross-listed (Psychology & Computer Science) graduate course that focused on the very current topic of Bayesian modeling. We got to read bleeding edge papers almost every class and, by the end, we were fully prepared to replicate an existing model!

What advice do you have for someone considering Computer Science?

Give it a try, Computer Science 1 never hurt anybody! if you consider yourself as a creative, an analytic, or a philosophic thinker, Computer Science can foster all of those talents as well start to develop a breadth of new ones. Not only that, learning a programming language is a major resume builder!

Computer Science is a major for dreamers! Come join!