Student Spotlight: Tyler Kaplan
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Student Spotlight: Tyler Kaplan

Tyler Kaplan found a way to combine his interests in music, movies, art, science, and mechanics to pursue an interesting academic pathway with multiple career opportunities. The computer game science major will continue his studies this fall at the University of California, Irvine.

"I'm looking forward to writing code and analyzing other people's code when I get started at UCI," he said. "This is a fairly new field and I feel like I have a lot of options for my degree and my career."

The career path suits Kaplan. He plays guitar and is learning piano; he is artistic and enjoys movies and video games. He is mechanically skilled as well. After graduating from El Segundo High School, Kaplan spent four years in the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton as a generator mechanic. He concluded his service as a sergeant and is attending college with support from the GI Bill.

Kaplan also likes the science and computer tech aspects involved in his studies. He explored this area further during a summer research program at UCLA where he worked with a team trying to develop an application that will detect a change of environment. As a student in the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering Wireless Health Institute (WHI) Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), Kaplan gained an up-close look at academic research and learned a lot about the process and procedures of lab work.

And, yes, Kaplan also enjoys video games. Growing up, he played all kinds of games and is now looking forward to getting involved in all aspects of game creation.

While at ECC, Kaplan was a member of the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement | Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (MESA|STEM) program, which offered support and opportunities such as the research project at UCLA.

"MESA|STEM has given me a ton of different experiences I wouldn't have had access to otherwise, including two scholarships," he said. "I definitely wouldn't have the internship at UCLA if it wasn't for MESA|STEM. They really care about students. From the professors to the programs and from the classes to the curriculum, El Camino really prepares you to transfer. It seems like each class prepares you for the next, which keeps the momentum going forward until you are ready to move to your university."