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.

Something is in the water

After traveling 12 hours overnight and getting into Manaus at 5am, we got into a small passenger van and drove two hours to the Maroaga Cave, in the Amazon Rainforest. We were all fairly exhausted but that also made it fun. We had all started interacting with each other heavily in the last 12 hours, we were walking through inches of mud in the rainforest together, en route to a waterfall and gorgeous cave.

We were making our way, slipping and sliding down the hills and creating some of our first memories together. It was incredibly warm and humid, different from the chilly late February weather we are used to in the Northern hemisphere. But we got down to the cave and it was stunning, gorgeous waterfalls with the most incredible greenery surrounding it. But what I don’t remember capturing in the photo, and maybe it was the pure exhaustion, was this spiny creature lurking in the water of the cave.

We were led into the beginnings of the mouth of the cave, and got to see some of the bats and when I turned around I saw this gorgeous view of the waterfall, the greenery, and just the most authentic view and picturesque Amazon Rainforest photo. I took it, with my feet in the water and didn’t notice anything in the water until I was editing the photos when we got back. I think it would be fascinating to see if this is an undiscovered species…