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.

Cruise Ship

The skiff excursions during the Amazon River cruise were very insightful. Even on the first day. When we first got on the boat I thought it was just going to be a normal boat ride, but boy was I wrong. It was so much more than that! And the tour guide that we had made the experience so much better as well.

The first thing that happened was that a piranha JUMPED INTO THE BOAT!!! Which was INSANE. At first I thought it was just a regular fish because I knew that some species of fish can jump ,but then the guide showed us the teeth on the fish and that kind of scared me. Piranhas that can jump into the boat with with you? EEEEK! It was still interesting to see one up close since I’ve never seen one before.

We also saw so many other animals on the excursions, such as caimans, storks, and Potoos (oh my!). My favorite were the Potoos. The Potoos or Nyctibius are owl like creatures that are mainly nocturnal. I LOVE owls. When I was in grade school I had a bit of an obsession with them because not only did I learn that owls were a sign of intelligence, but I loved the Harry Potter series so I dreamed of owning and owl and going to Hogwarts.

Anyway, seeing these animals made me realize how diverse the amazon is and how much you can see from such a short boat ride that wasn’t even the main event! We were on our way to check out a traditional farm in the region. Which was also interesting, but the highlight of the trip for me was seeing all those animals.


After the excursions there was a show for flute music with the tour guide we had from earlier .The performance was amazing! During the performance he also made these birds sounds which was also pretty cool because I heard them before during the skiff excursion to call out to other animals.

This cruise was was a lot of fun. I had so many laughs and got to experience so much. The views from the boat were amazing and we wouldn’t have been able to see them otherwise. Not to mention, the boat and the food, as well as the on board entertainment were immaculate I almost didn’t notice there was no cell phone reception or WIFI because there was so much more to keep me entertained.