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.

Look, Listen, Analyze

Assignment Description:  Pick one scene from a classic movie you will analyze

  1. Analyze the camera work. Before watching the first time, turn the volume on the clip (or on your computer) down. Take notes on the visual aspects of the clip. Look for camera angles, cuts, how many times the camera switches view, the quality of light, and the cuts or transitions. Look for the ways the camera tells and guides the story.
  2. Analyze the audio track. Now turn the volume up, but play it without looking at the screen (or turn it off); listen to the audio. Take notes on the pacing of the dialogue, the spaces in the audio, and the use of music or sound effects (think back to our work earlier on listening to audio).
  3. Put it all together. Finally, watch the scene as usual. Pay attention to something you may have missed the first time or how the elements you saw in the first two steps work together.
  1. This scene from Batman- The Dark Knight implements quick, fast-paced cuts to add tension to the fight scene. It also uses low-light and switches views multiple times throughout the scene. These elements helps to build tension and intensity in this fight scene.
  2. The audio is very vocal-heavy. The main focus of the audio is whoever is talking and the various grunts and yells that happen during the fight. There is also some machine whirring in the background, but other than that, the main focus is the actors’ voices and the slams and breaks of their fight. By listening to the audio and not watching the video, I was able to minimize my senses and focus on the importance of audio in films.
  3. The video and audio work together to create a high-intensity scene. The camera closely follows the fight, and the audio does the same: following the grunts and breaks of the fight. These components create a story that is engaging and easy to follow.