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.

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat…

Our first video assignment involved analyzing a movie scene in three different ways: 1) Analyze the camera work, 2) Analyze the audio track, and 3) Put it all together. The movie scene I decided to analyze is from Jaws and can be seen below!

  1. When I watched this without the sound, I immediately noticed the large number of jump cuts that are in this scene. I felt like this really helped to build the suspense, even without hearing any sound. There were also form cuts that followed the shark, which helped to put emphasis on how big the shark is! Ebert mentioned in his article, considering objects in the foreground and the background. There was one shot where the main character is in the foreground looking towards the camera and then the shark appears in the background behind the character. This creates stress for the audience because they know the shark is there, but the character doesn’t!
  2. The second time I watched the clip, I listened to only the audio. The scene starts without any music and then you hear splashing as the shark appears and then suspensful music starts playing. The iconic Jaws soundtrack continues to play throughout the scene creating a chilling scene in the audience as they prepare for what might happen next!
  3. Then, I put the clip all together with video and audio. The combination of the two creates a cohesive, chaotic, and suspenseful scene for the viewer. Through the quick, strategic camera cuts and the stress-inducing music, this scene was one of the most iconic and well-known scenes of its time!