Professor Polack
Professor Polack, a distinguished computer science professor at the University of Mary Washington, possesses a deep curiosity for global exploration. Driven by a desire to broaden her understanding of different cultures and technological landscapes, she aspires to study abroad in countries across the world. Professor Polack's ambition to study abroad exemplifies her commitment to enriching both his own academic perspectives and the field of computer science as a whole.
View UMW Trip 2024
Iceland, where we spent weeks exploring the stunning landscapes of this Nordic island. One of the highlights of the trip was driving around the famous ring road, a 1,332-kilometer highway that circles the entire country. Along the way, we marveled at cascading waterfalls, rugged coastlines, and towering glaciers. We had the chance to immerse yourself in Icelandic culture, sampling traditional cuisine and learning about the country's history and geology. This unforgettable journey through Iceland's dramatic beauty left a lasting impression all of us.
View UMW Trip 2023
After leading a study abroad trip to Brazil and Argentina, where the students explored the wonders of the Amazon Rainforest, embarked on a captivating river cruise along the Amazon, and marveled at the breathtaking Iguazu Falls from both sides of the border, Professor Polack decided to create a photo book. With meticulous attention to detail, he curated a collection of photographs capturing the vibrant landscapes, fascinating wildlife, and joyous moments of the trip. I aimed to provide a visual narrative that would forever remind the students of their remarkable journey.

April is Learning from Listening: Spooked Podcast

I had never really listened to a podcast before, so this was a great way to learn how to effectively use audio to tell a story. I decided to listen to the “Final Act” Spooked podcast, which was Season 1, Episode 13. Immediately when I started listening to the podcast, I noticed how well music is used in the background of speaking. It makes the speaking more interesting, but also isn’t overbearing or making it hard to hear the speaker.

After the introduction, I noticed that the speaking stopped for a moment, and the sound changed and volume increased slightly. I think this was a great way to separate the sections of the podcast. Additionally, throughout the podcast there would be small moments with just music. This reminded me of what Ira Glass said about needing moments of reflection. These moments without a speaker give you a chance to reflect on the story that has been told thus far.

Once we started to get into the storytelling is when I really noticed the incredibly effective use of audio in storytelling. The first instance of this was when the speaker explained that she got a buzz on her pager. At this moment we heard background noise that was the noise of a pager going off. This is interesting because even without the spoken words, I would’ve been able to tell what was going on. This continued to happen throughout the rest of the stories. For instance, the speaker says she started her car and you hear a car starting noise in the background, or she mentions the wind getting stronger, and you hear the sound of wind increase.