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.

Katla and Gudjonthor

One of my favorite places we visited was the supervolcano Katla. This is a massive caldera that has a glacier on top of it, surrounded by floodplains. We were lucky enough to go visit and see not only the glacier itself, but the ice caves there as well! 

The ride there was rough, having to sit through over 15 minutes of the most wobbly off-road driving I had ever experienced with a lap belt that did not fit over my lap was a bit nerve-wracking to say the least. But when we stopped and got out of the car, we all knew it was so worth it. I had never seen anything like this, not even in pictures! 

We spent the next two hours being guided across this frozen landscape by our guide, Gudjonthor Peterson. He took us across a smaller portion of the glacier (which still looked massive to me) and down to a leveled out area. Here, we saw what he called “the skylight.” My first thought was of course how stunning this was, but then quickly came another…”what if there was a giant poking their head through there to say hello?” Of course, this is what I was imagining:

Aside from the extraordinary views of the ice caves and heavenly taste of the glacier water, my favorite part of this experience was getting to chat with Gudjonthor. I was lucky enough that he agreed to do a brief interview with me, and I am so glad I chose to speak with him out of everyone I met. Not only was he thoughtful and elaborative in his answers, but he cracked jokes throughout! The full interview is below, but let me just say, there is no one in the world I would trust more to drive me through a wacky, bumpy road with no lap belt than him.

Powered by WPeMatico